Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Feels like early October outside...​. December 30, 2013


Hello again!

It was really great to talk to you guys on Christmas day! And I loved opening all my presents and eating so much food! And I loved seeing the Christmas Lights at the Mesa Temple that night, even though it was so crowded and I got really claustrophobic :) We went again last night (Sunday night) with an investigator and I enjoyed it much more! But I'll get to that.

So yeah, it was Christmas week! Not a good week for missionary work because everyone is gone. You would think everyone would be enjoying the weather down here for Christmas! Guess not. We were able to see a few members on Christmas Eve, and had a great party with the missionaries in our stake that night! There is a senior couple serving in our stake, so we all went to their place for our party. We ate so much food, and had a gift exchange, and went caroling around their apartment complex. And they live just inside the Phoenix mission, so now I feel so cool- we had to get special permission to go :)

After our party, all the sisters who were able to come went and had a sleepover! The sisters in Cave Creek ward live with members, but they were out of town so we had the place to our selves. We got to open presents in the morning together, and have a big companion study before heading home Christmas day. It was a lot of fun.

All the missionaries got together on Christmas day as well, to play sports and eat some more. Then we had a great dinner with the Reeves and went to the Christmas lights with them.

We were able to see a few people later in the week, but not too many. Saturday we spent all day biking- it started out okay, but ended not so good.... We walked our bikes for about three miles because I was too sore all over to ride, then called the sisters we live with for the last two miles so we could get home in time. One of the sisters rode my bike home and I got a ride. I'm not proud of it. But the Lord helped get me all the way around Scottsdale until dinner... and then we both just said no to afterwards. But I was able to get up Sunday morning and go to church, which is good because we had to give talks! Kind of a crazy weekend, but I'm not really limping anymore, that much :)

But, surprise surprise, an investigator came to church! Kerri is middle aged and dealing with Leukemia, but came to sacrament meeting and see went and saw the Christmas lights together! She asked us a lot of questions, and I think we did a pretty good job of answering them! We taught her about the restoration and about prophets and she seemed to enjoy the evening very much! Hopefully we can meet again soon.

Yep, the life of a missionary is crazy. I learn so much every day, and every day I become a stronger person and a better missionary. No matter what we are doing in life, we have our challenges. But I know that our Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to be happy. We have challenges so we can overcome them and learn and grow. I am thankful for my hard times, because I know I can be better by enduring and overcoming them, with the help of the Lord!

I love being a missionary, and I am so thankful for this chance I have to be serving here in Arizona. A mission is WORTH IT.

I love you all so much! Family and friends or whoever else, you rock. I miss you! Remember that God loves you!

Love, Sister Hailey Brown
Merry Christmas 2013!!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Merry Christmas!​! and all that jazz... December 23, 2013


Merry Christmas everyone! It's almost here!

I've been having a great time opening my 12 days of Christmas gifts every day! But the Christmas season is hard for missionary work because everyone is gone and super busy and just doesn't have the time to meet with us. It's a really good time though because we can talk to the people we do see about Christ's birth and the Mesa temple Christmas lights! So yeah...

Went on exchange this week! Best ever. Because Sister Brown and Sister White are invincible together! We had so much fun, and I love Hermana White so much! She is the sweetest person ever. And we only had about two people get really confused with our names. So I want to be her companion in the future! She really helped me get through that day, because some people are just plain mean. But we just kept going. And there are nice people out there! The hardest part is finding them.

We were able to do some service this week, helping a woman pack up her house to move and another family finish painting their hallway before family comes for the holiday. So that was awesome! Service just helps me feel like I'm doing something productive. Because sometimes we have days that feel completely useless. But we're helping people! And at least we're cleaning up our area book!

Well, we did contact a referral and met with her! Yvonne has a 15 year old daughter who is fighting bulimia and bi polar disorder and has been hospitalized a ton. We mostly just showed her that we also use the King James Version of the Bible, which she loves! and explained the Book of Mormon to her. She sounded like she might like coming to church and we think she'll come next week! So hopefully everything will go well with that!

We had a really good Zone Conference this week, and we're speaking in church next Sunday, after a mission farewell talk.

Oh! and I had the greatest surprise yesterday!! I walked into the chapel at church, and I saw one of my best friends Alix standing there! So I thought, "Oh, Alix! I'll go give her a hug." So we hug, and I start bawling because I'm so shocked and happy and surprised! It turns out she and her Mom have a time share they visit in the winter down here, and this is the ward they usually go to! And it just so happened that I'm serving here.... So we're going out to lunch on Tuesday. It is so crazy!

I can't really think of anything else really exciting.... We've been taking lots of pictures by cool Christmas lights! And the other night we ran out of people to see, so on our way home, whenever we passed super awesome Christmas light we ran up and put a flier for the temple lights in their door! So that was kind of fun. Sometimes you just have to make your own fun :)

I love you all so much! It's hard being away from home during the holidays, but as long as I stay busy it isn't so bad. Same goes to all you at home too! Stay busy and you won't even miss me :) Thanks for all of your support and love that you have sent, and thanks to the love and support I have gotten from the ward and stake! It always means a lot.

Have a Merry Christmas and stay happy! I think we can watch It's a Wonderful Life on Christmas Day or New Years Day, so I won't even be missing out!

Share my love with Carmel and Jack and Jill! Tell them they better be there for next Christmas!

Love always!

Sister Hailey Brown


Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas is coming? Are you sure?.... December 16, 2013


Hello again, and welcome to the life of Sister Brown. It gets pretty boring though, so you can just stop here and go watch a Christmas movie if you want.

So.... the baptism on Saturday didn't go through. John doesn't want ruin his relationship with his family by joining the church so soon after his divorce, so he's going to wait. But the ward sounds like they are going to make sure he gets what he needs to continue to progress, like home teachers and a calling he can hold. So that's that! He seems to be doing pretty well though. We will continue to work with him a bit to make sure he is still doing good.

We were able to go to the temple this week! My first time at the Mesa Temple, besides the day I flew into Arizona and we went to the visitor's center. As we left, the temple lights were starting, so we got to see a bit of that! We still need to get an investigator or less active to go with us down there so we can see them!

But like I said, most of this week has been really boring. We are doing a lot of knocking on doors, and finding out that the person has moved. This is the problem with apartment complexes! Plus the whole, wait until someone goes in or out to get inside the gate. It can be really frustrating, just to go from place to place each day and no one will talk to you. And it's exhausting. And it's so hard to find the Christmas spirit around here! No snow, but a handful of cacti and bushes are covered in lights and santa hats! Some people go all out, and some people don't do anything, which is sad. We love the lights! They make us happy. Also, the other night I pulled a lime off someone's tree in their front yard. it was right next to an orange tree. It's a crazy thing to experience, fruit actually on the tree!!!

We are working on learning and teaching about family history, which is AWESOME if you haven't tried it yet. just go look! It's so amazing to see where you came from and to see the names of people to helped you be where you are today. We are going to take Stephen, the Less active we've been working with, to the family history center tuesday night and try to get him started! He hasn't quit his coffee yet... but he's still trying, He told us yesterday that he will through it all out. So hopefully he has!

Last night was the stake choir devotional at the church, which was really awesome! I love music and I love the spirit that Christmas carols can bring :)

We will be going on exchange tonight- I'll stay in this area with Hermana White, and Sister Fairbanks will go up to Cave Creek Ward with Sister Tenney. They are both sister training leaders so we should only have to exchange the once. So this will be interesting! Sisters Brown and White! It will be hard for me to take the lead, because even though I'm supposed to, normally sister fairbanks just goes for it. But I need to learn, and every day I do learn something new. Even if I don't know it, I'm positive that everything that happens here happens for a reason. I have already seen so much growth in myself over the last few months, but I can see so many other areas where I still need to grow! But it will come. I have faith that my Heavenly Father knows what He is doing with me. I may be growing, but I still want to help others to grow too! So that is what I am working towards. I know that by helping others, our sadness and wants will be decreased and we will feel happier! It has happened before, and it will happen again. And that is why service is so important! Because you make other people happy, but it makes you happy too.

I hope all of your Christmas holidays are going splendidly! I love you all!! Be happy and remember our Savior! And if you ever swing down to Arizona come to the Christmas lights at the temple- I hear they are amazing :)

Love ALWAYS, Sister Hailey Brown

                     a quick photo by the temple, because we didn't have time to get a good one. :)
and our van some in our zone took down to save miles :)
at the dinner after our temple trip on Thursday.
Sisters Crowther, Fairbanks and Brown, and Sister Kaufusi in the front :)
in front of the reeve's home

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The cold is still a-comin'..​.. December 9, 2013


Hello! Again! Does this seem repetitive to anyone else?

So apparently I have some blog readers. So hi!!!!!! Thanks for keeping that updated for me Mom!!

What happened this week.... Well, We've been preparing a baptism for this Saturday! John is a man who was taught by the elders before us. He just went through a divorce and loves our church! So hopefully everything will work out for the baptism!! Neither Sister Fairbanks or I have ever had to get the whole baptismal service planned and it is hard work! I'm sure it is made harder because our building is having its bathrooms remodeled, so we didn't even know if we could do it there, plus planning around all the Christmas parties that are happening, and taking into account John's schedule as an ER doctor... He'll be sleeping all day on Saturday after a night shift, then he'll be up to his baptism at 4! We pray it goes off without a glitch!

Had the worst experience of my mission so far! Picked a name off the ward directory, a part member family, decided to go visit. She answers the door- and I have not heard so much profanity since high school! She tells us to get off her property, and she's getting a restraining order, and calls us some names... and we're just like, what the heck is going on? we don't even know you! So that was crazy. While she is telling us all this she is walking towards us... if we hadn't skedaddled outta there, she might have beat us up. It was super scary. The valley is different from the mountains, in more than one way!

I've become a pro at sneaking into gated "residential communities"- since I actually have to do it to our own place. we don't have a clicker, and the people in the office don't have a code they give to the residents.... so we're just like, fine, wait until someone comes or goes and then head in. Same thing we do at every other place we go! these places are hard!!!

We had the ward Christmas party Saturday night, but I can tell I like the way our ward does it better. Although we did get a whole dinner from it, it was just too structured and people couldn't really talk to each other too much. But it was still fun! 

We DIDN'T get to see the Christmas Devotional... but maybe I'll watch it next year if I can find it online :) But we do get to go to the temple this week! on the 12th, the 1:30 session. And we're handing out fliers for the Mesa Temple Christmas lights, but we need a less active or investigator to go with us so we're working on trying to get someone to go with us!

Um, don't know what else.... I loved the Christmas package! I love everyone everywhere for everything!! But most especially my family :)

Be safe and stay warm! And remember the true reason for the season!!

Love, Sister Hailey Brown
people have weird decorations around here
and huge Christmas decorations!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Still reeling in the valley.... December 2, 2013 (what?? December??​????)


Hello again! I can't even believe it is December. It feels like I'm on vacation in California or Mexico or something. But I'm guessing for you all up in Utah it feels like December! Brrr!

So, not a lot to say.... We had Thanksgiving with our Bishop's family. Bishop Bloom and his family are pretty much the only people we say that day, because we can't just drop in on people on Thanksgiving! So we went home and went over all the paperwork for the area- or not even all of it, there is too much! We're trying to get the know the area more but it sure it hard! This city is confusing!

Apparently people don't like you to come after dark. Friday night some people were not to happy to hear from us. One woman told us through the door she was very disturbed that we were knocking on her door at 9 at night- although it was only just after 8. Another woman said, also through the door, "Now is not the time for visiting!" I'm glad that all I could do was laugh in bewilderment. 

Our ward takes in part of Phoenix and part of Paradise Valley, and everyone here is super well off! For our dinner Saturday night we had to be buzzed in at the gate to get to their front door. And almost all the apartment complexes- and there are so many of them!- almost all of them have gate codes you need to get in. We tried to visit someone, and their gate actually had a security guard. He called the people to verify they knew us, and while he waited for them to pick up, he says, "Sister Brown? As is, nuns?" No, we're sister missionaries.... And then the people asked us to come by another time. After we left I had a bit of an anxiety attack. I could handle people not letting us in at night, I could handle members having to buzz us in, but the security guard rejection plus the nun thing was just too much. Coming from the mountains where people can't pay to turn on their heat or pay for gas to take the kids to school, and Sister Fairbanks coming from the Salt River Pima Reservation, which is probably worse than what I experienced... we are so out of our element here. So yep, here's another experience!

A man who was baptized about 18 months ago called us, and asked to meet. He wants to become more active and get his priesthood and go to the temple. Yay! We are so excited to help him to more forward. The only thing we need now is help from the ward, and they pretty much seem to be very willing to help!

We are trying to move our baptism from the 7th to the 14th, so we have more time to set it up. Because neither me nor my companion has ever had to plan a baptism! So I'll have to let you all know how that goes!

It's so strange to see christmas lights all around without any snow... but it's still fun to see!

I also met a Sister Reeves in church yesterday.... Isn't it a small world? She is Paul Benson's mother-in-law. I don't remember the Benson's very well, but I remember a little. I guess everyone is connected somehow!

Anyways, that's about it for now! I love you all very much and am always so glad to hear from you! I bore a brief testimony in church yesterday, because I do know that we are so blessed to have the fulness of the gospel on the earth today. We know the happiness we have through the gospel, and we know that the gospel is the one and only way to find everlasting happiness- and that's why we share it with those we love! We share the gospel because we love these people so much we want them to have the joy that we have. The first article in this month's Ensign is awesome- go read it!

Always look for ways to be a friend to someone in need. And that makes us happy too!


Love, Sister Hailey Brown


Friday, November 29, 2013

Breathing some different air now........November 27, 2013


So yes dear family and friends, transfers has again brought about a change for me. And this is the biggest change yet!

I am now serving in the Scottsdale North Stake, in the Chaparral Ward. Although I think I'm living in Phoenix. Everything is super nice and rich and big and busy! I'm senior companion to a visa waiter, Sister Fairbanks. She is from Modesto, CA, waiting for her visa to Bella Horizonte, Brazil. And the best part? We're white-washing. Twice in a row for me! The elders who were in the area before BOTH went home really sick about a week or so ago- so we got a little information from the elders who covered the area for that week- or basically we have the area book. and a lot of other junk. So.. this will be interesting!

I don't really know what else to say! I'll have Sister Knight update me on the investigators in Show Low whenever she can- we didn't get any of them to progressing yet. But I think in this area we have a baptism on the 7th! But we have no idea how to go about this.... so yep! This will be REALLY interesting!

Oh! last week I went on exchange and got to experience a little bit of the Linden area of Arizona. I like seeing other areas that are so different on exchange! But those rough dirt roads and crumbly double wide trailers are nothing like Scottsdale. Learned some more about family history- found out I'm related to John Whipple, back in the 1600s! And Whipple is a huge name around here! At least in the mountains it is. They pretty much founded all these places up north! so yeah, now I have a connection to the area! We're all related probably! haha

And I did push the car out of the mud this week when we were out at White Mountain Lakes near Show Low! Thanks for the good shoes, mom :)

So, rain and snow up in the mountains. maybe some rain and some sunshine down in the valley. Seems to be in the 70s as far as I can tell, maybe 60s. We live in a super nice place, and it even has a gym! so that's really weird. I now that all of this is going to take some getting used to!

so, lots of new pictures! from Show Low and Lakeside, transfers, and a few from this morning with Sister Fairbanks! We also live with Sister Crowther and Sister Kaufusi- Sis Crowther from Taylor!  She is so sweet. Her mom sent a "12 days of Christmas" gift for each of us! I took a picture this morning :) They will cover Desert Ridge Ward. And this is how you know the area is rich- Stephenie Meyer lives in our stake. Not either of those wards, but a different ward that other sisters cover. and her dad takes care of the phones for the mission office. So who knows who I will meet while I'm here!

So that's about everything for now... I'm terrified and excited to be here, in the valley, white washing! But I know that the Lord has placed me here for a reason. So I'll continue to learn and grow, down where it's warm! And I'll finally get to go to the Mesa temple this transfer!

Crazy times. But, I kind of love it :)


Sister Hailey Brown