Monday, January 27, 2014

Hola Familia! And anyone else who cares.....​.....Janua​ry 27, 2014


Wow what a week. Is anything more exhausting than serving a mission? Maybe being a doctor or something, but let's not think about that. It makes me more tired :)

So we saw some people this week! Members and investigators and even a less active or two. We were able to make a few appointments and drop in on some people, so it was a pretty good week for that!

On Friday we went with Brenda and a member to the Mesa Temple Visitor's Center, to see the movie "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration." We hadn't seen her since Sunday so we were happy! The movie was awesome, but I kind of hated it because it make me cry so much. After the movie we walked around the visitor's center, and we sat down for a few minutes and Brenda asked a few questions. It went really well! We thought she would make it to church yesterday but didn't show up, but she did ask us to come by today at 4 to see her. So we're still going forward!

Something really awesome did happen this week. On Friday, during weekly planning, we texted an investigator we have been trying to meet with, Jenna, and she called us. She said her boyfriend had just kicked her out and she asked me to say a prayer for her over the phone. So my companion and I knelt, put the phone and speaker, and I prayed for her. She told us about an Affirmations book she is reading, things to make you feel better and more positive I think, and she shared one about how, no matter how big our dreams and hopes are, God will always help us achieve them. She was so sweet, and asked to come to church with us on Monday -then corrected herself to Sunday :) We made plans to get a member to drive us over and pick her up, and she asked what to wear and if she could invite her boyfriend if he was still talking to her. I've only met her once, on her doorstep in the dark and we talked for a few minutes while my last companion and I wrangled her ferret and told her about Joseph Smith and the Priesthood. But we got a text yesterday morning from her phone, her boyfriend telling us she has the flu or something. So instead of two investigators at church we had zero, but that's what I'm used to so it's okay :) I just want to meet with Jenna so bad! She said that she feels God is directing her (and her boyfriend) to the church. I wanted to jump up and down and say YES HE IS!!!! I could feel love for her, and I could feel God's love for her. So we are trying to help her in any way we can, and we may just drop in sometime this week to visit!!!

I went on exchange up to the Cave Creek ward with Sister Tenney on Saturday, and we got to go to the Gilbert Temple Open House! It was gorgeous and I did not want to leave! If any of you get a chance, you should swing by sometime in the next few weeks to see it! Biggest temple they've built in 17 years, ya know! 

I feel like those are the weekly highlights...... We keep plowing through! I love you all and I cannot say enough how much I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the full and complete truth on the earth today! I want everyone to have the happiness that the gospel brings.

I love all of you so much! Thanks for all of your support and love back!!!

Love, Sister Hailey Brown

Thursday, January 23, 2014

What even happened this last week?.....​January 21, 2013


Hello, and happy Tuesday. No computers on the holiday!

So I don't even remember what I did last week. I guess I'll look in my planner and give you a quick run down of the good stuff.

Brenda! We met with her twice last week. Saturday night she fed us dinner and we taught her the Restoration, and she said it felt different from the other times she's been told the story of Joseph Smith. She felt it soft and gentle, she said. She doesn't want to pray to know if it is true until she has a clearer understanding, but we are taking her to the Mesa Temple Visitor's Center to see Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration, which is apparently the best movie of all time according to Sister Carambelas. and says that it is now on hulu, so you all should go watch it! We'll be going this Friday. We are also going with Brenda to the Gilbert temple open house on the 6th of February! we are so excited! But the best part of it all may be that she came to church, all three meetings! It was amazing, and sacrament meeting was all about conversion and the blessings of being a member of the church- Brenda asked us if we had told the speakers what to talk on! It was crazy.

We had dinner Friday night with a part member family and the husband is Jewish. So we all had their Sabbath meal together, and he read Hebrew and did some things with grape juice and challah bread. I hope I don't sound insensitive, I really don't know what to call it! It was really neat though, and really good! Only slightly awkward :)

We've also been meeting with a Catholic man who met with the missionaries several years ago. He isn't really investigating exactly, but we are teaching him what we believe and hope and pray something touches his heart. He is super versed in the Bible and it sounds like his job is being a catholic seminary teacher. So that is really interesting! and super stressful. Because if we aren't getting anywhere we can't continue to meet with him.

Well, that's the most exciting things going on! I'm learning how to be trainer, and struggling some. I want so badly to be a good missionary and I feel like I constantly fall short. But I guess that's another place where the Savior will pick up my slack. I can't be perfect on my own, and I do mess up, but I know that the Lord loves me and He loves the effort I am putting forth. I am so thankful for the Atonement that we all have in our lives, for the plan our Heavenly Father provided so that we could be happy not just here on earth, but forever! I am so thankful for the chance I have to be sharing this message of joy with the world. Thanks to everyone who is supporting me! I love you all!

Stay warm up in the snow!! I'll try to stay cool, because I'm already struggling with the heat!!! :)

Love, Sister Hailey Brown

These are some of the bunnies that are all over the place!

Monday, January 13, 2014

I forget that it's January until I have to write it..... January 13, 2014


So! Another week. Each one is so similar, and yet so different....

What has happened since the last time I wrote....

Um, we saw some people. We met with Brenda again and set up another appointment for this week. She is at a point where she feels like God is directing her where to go, and she wants to know if this is the way (and yes, it is!!) She started reading the Book of Mormon over again without any prompting from us, and asked us a lot of questions! She has a problem with the need to get baptized again, because she has already been baptized in several other churches. She is struggling with knowing if the Book of Mormon is true and Joseph Smith is a true prophet- she has a vision of all these men plotting around a table about creating our religion. I just looked a saw that I wrote about this last week, but I guess it's something she likes to bring up. She is so close to being ready to go forth with faith, but her mind is still being tugged in the other direction. I pray that as we teach her, she will be able to feel the manifestation of the Holy Ghost and she will know that what we are saying is true. Even if she likes her Praise and Worship service better than sacrament meeting- (there are downfalls to having an open mike on Fast Sunday, as we all know).

Training is a different experience! I'm trying to do what I know, and trying to teach what I think is best, while still holding on to the brand-new led-only-by-the-spirit actions my companion is still going on. I worry that I've feel into a teaching pattern, so I'm trying to work more on following the Spirit to know what to say, instead of just teaching the material. It's so hard! Because the material does need to be taught, in a way that needs to be understood- but we always need to follow the Spirit, so we know what and how to teach. Missionary life never becomes easy! new challenges always arise.

Had a great Sunday, although we didn't get to see anyone besides our dinner appointment. We had dinner with the Bishop and his family, and it was ridiculous! Their kids are hilarious, and someone we all ended up laughing our heads off multiple times. It was so much fun! If slightly crazy. Apparently there is a picture of a shaved bear on the internet they showed us... terrifying and so sad. and other crazy random conversations. A great bonding moment for my brand new companion and her first mission bishop! it was just insane.

And I can't believe I almost forgot! We had a huge multi-mission conference to hear Elder Jeffrey R. Holland speak on Saturday... but at the last minute he couldn't come. So we heard Elder Wright of the 6th Quorum of the 70 speak instead. We had to wake up at 4:30, picked up at 5 to be there a little after 6 to get good seats. We needed to be there by 7. We did get excellent seats, 3rd row in the middle! Would have been much more exciting if Elder Holland had made it, but it was still super amazing and spiritual. I got to see all my friends at the same time! That never happens! We got a mission picture taken and all had lunch together. It was great!

After that on Saturday, we had an opportunity to meet with a woman who is taking the discussions from the Assistants to the President, who cover the singles ward in the area. We accidentally left a message on the wrong door and have been texting since. Cassandra wanted us to meet her and her boyfriend at California Pizza Kitchen- she wanted to ask us if she could be Mormon/Buddhist. So that was crazy. We were able to talk to the APs at the lunch and they encouraged us to go. We told her it depended on each situation, because each Buddhist believes different things. Her less active boyfriend had a lot of question as well, mostly about the Plan of Salvation. Mostly I hope they don't go back to the Elders and say, "well, the sister missionaries said this...." because that would be terrible! But I think we did a good job. After the lesson, Sister Carambelas turned to be and said, "That was so much fun!!!!" I love being her companion!

So, that's my life update! The days are warm and the nights cool, pretty nice weather :)

I love serving the Lord and I am so thankful for this opportunity I have to do so! I am seeing the growth within myself from the things I am learning, and I know I will be able to help so many others as I keep working to improve myself each day. I love each of you SO MUCH and miss you! but think- I just passed my 6 month mark a few days ago. I'll be home before we know it! and who knows what that will be like!

Keep on smiling!

Love, Sister Hailey Brown

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The real test is here...... January 8, 2014


Hello, and Happy New Year!!!

It's been a while since you've heard from me, but not a lot has happened. Or it has, depending on how you look at it :)

First off, New Years! On the 1st we had a multi zone activity, and 3 or 4 zones all met at a park near the mission home to play board games and sports, and some people hung out at the mission home and just have a good time! It was great because we can't play board games or cards or anything regularly, so I had fun playing Star Wars Monopoly, until we got bored. It was great to just be outside and get to see some people! Unfortunately, most of the people I know and love are up in the mountains, or in one of the zones we weren't with that day. So I didn't see a lot of friends, but we still had a great time. And we got to watch It's A Wonderful Life that evening with members! Just like at home :) So that made my holiday the best!

We went on a lot of weird splits this week, because one of the sisters we live with was sick, and they had a few appointments they needed to go to. So we got permission to mix it up! I went with her companion a few times into their area, the ward just next to ours. It was a crazy week.

We were able to meet with Stephen again! He is still trying to quit his coffee, and we were finally able to get him to an Addiction Recovery Meeting in Mesa- and we got permission to go with him! It was an amazing experience, and the Spirit was so strong there. It is people who struggle with addiction and are trying to get and stay clean, using the Atonement of Christ. I would gladly go back any chance I get! Stephen did say he would be moving though, so we're trying to help him while he's still in town.

We were also able to meet a former investigator who some members in our ward are still working with. Brenda knows so much about the church, and at one point was so close to getting baptized. It sounds like it is hard for her to take that last step, because she has already been baptized in other churches. She also has a hard time accepting that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God and that the Book of Mormon is truly God's words for us, and not just a book written by a man who wanted to confuse a bunch of people or something. I don't know why anyone would write a book like The Book of Mormon unless they actually believed everything they were saying! So we are going to keep meeting with her and try to help her gain a testimony of The Book of Mormon. We invited her to a single sisters Family Home Evening on Monday night, and we all went and she loved it! She had actually been before with her member friend, and definitely wants to come next month. She has a small dog-sitting business in her home, so teaching at her home is quite the experience! There were just three small to medium dogs there when we went, but they were all vying for our attention and running all over the place! I love them, but they are so distracting.

What has really amazing is that we came over just when we needed us. The Jehovah's Witnesses stopped by that morning (she says she very politely just says no thanks) and she was having a lot of family trouble just that day. I hope we were able to help her, and at least bring the Spirit into her home to comfort her.

You know, I think I might be forgetting the most important thing! No, I didn't get transferred, but I did get the biggest challenge I've had to face on my mission yet- a greenie. Yep, President Sweeney called on Thursday and asked me to train. He wanted to make sure I felt ready before making the official phone call on Saturday. I am super nervous and scared, but so excited too! And now that I have her, I feel a lot more excited :)

Sister Carambelas (like, someone who rambles on forever and never stops talking- Car- RAMBLE- us- it's Greek!) is 19 and from West Jordan, UT. With the other companionship in our apartment switched- one stayed and a new one came in- all four of us are from Utah. Makes life pretty boring :) Anyway, she is awesome and so happy and excited to be here! She spent an extra week in the MTC, because they didn't want anyone to come in on Christmas Day, so I bet she is a way better teacher than me! But I love being able to help her learn about the little things on the mission. I think we are going to be AWESOME together :)

So! there you go. life is good.

I love you all so much! thanks for everything you do for me and for all your love and support. Keep on going strong! The Lord wants each one of us to succeed and be happy! So let's do it!

Love, Sister Hailey Brown
ps- did I ever tell you what Sister Hubmann sent me? A picture of Eli, in Snowflake, with his baptismal record, filling it out! He got baptized the Saturday after Christmas!!! I was so worried that he was going to get lost when he gets deployed in a few months, but he contacted the Sisters and committed to baptism that first meeting! Sister Hubmann gave me another update yesterday at Transfers, and the Ballards came to church!! I don't know if you remember these people, but I do and I love them! I had to keep myself from screaming in the cultural hall :) Sis H is finally coming back down to the valley, so I may see her a little more often!
So yep, update on Taylor and Snowflake :)
Eli and Sister Hubmann
Sister Brown and Sister Carambelas