Monday, March 24, 2014

We've got the golden plates!! ......Marc​h 24, 2014


Well Hi everyone!

This week was... kind of a blah week.

It happens.

No investigators at church this week, Brenda didn't show and Jenna was sick (or hungover, we're thinking...) but Sister Carambelas and I taught Gospel Principles! We talked about The Church of Jesus Christ in Former Times- the church that Christ established when He was on the Earth. The lesson gave six points that the true church must have, or else it doesn't work. I love that we can see all of those points in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! For a great lesson, so check that chapter out :) We had a great turn out in the class of ward missionaries, and a man who was baptized a year ago that we are teaching the new members lessons to. Sister C totally beasted in teaching- after all, she wants to teach high school history in the future! So, we had fun. then in Relief Society we played conference bingo and ate a million starbursts. What a great Sunday!

Probably the most interesting thing that happened this week was Jenna. I think we stopped by to see her three days in a row. She is really struggling, going through terrible withdrawals just for trying to decrease her intake of alcohol. On one of these visits we helped her as she threw up outside of her front door. Man, we just want to help her so much! She has been through so much and really needs so much help! All we can do really is pray for her, and try to find her some rehab program. Oh, and teach her that God loves her no matter what! So please keep Jenna in your prayers!

We finished teaching Brenda the Plan of Salvation, but it's still slow going. She's taking everything in and trying to reconcile everything between her mind and heart. We still have a long way to go! So Brenda is in need of prayers as well, because is struggling to accept some of our teachings.

We had a great zone conference this week! And guess what? I guess our car looked clean to Elder William, the vehicle coordinator, because we won the golden plates! 

Which is weird because the inside of our windows were smudgy and we didn't vacuum, just shook out the mats. But I'm happy! We did scrub the car with those window cleaners at the gas pumps before running it through the car wash!! Haha

Well, transfer news is this Saturday, so I'll email next Wednesday for P-day. Who thinks I'm getting transferred? Lets get those predictions written down! I only wish I already had an answer :/

Love you all! I am so thankful for the support you send my way and for your testimonies that you share with me. I know that I couldn't do this if I didn't know with everything in my being that this is right and true! I know that I have found happiness and peace through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and I want everyone to know (and accept!) the Gospel to have that peace too! I hope you all are looking for simple ways to share what you believe everyday!

You are all AWESOME! I love you!

Love, Sister Hailey Brown

Ps- here is a picture of Sister Carambelas and Sister Garrett sucking up green jello out of star shaped ice molds. because they wouldn't come out of the mold :)

Monday, March 17, 2014

High on the Mountain Top..... March 17, 2014


Hello! and... Happy Saint Patrick's Day! don't worry, I'm wearing green :)

So, something really cool happened this week! On Wednesday, we went with Sister Tucker in a "tri-panionship" because of crazy exchanges... I don't even fully understand how it all worked out, but we have three trios of sisters in our zone so it gets confusing. So we got out of the car at a apartment complex to try to see someone, and a guy rides by on his bike and asks, "Are you guys coming to my place?" And Sister Carambelas very cleverly replies, "...Do you want us to?" :) He said his name was Alex, and he had talked to missionaries before... and some even came by a few months ago but he didn't want to talk then. I completely remember knocking on his door and him saying he wasn't interested when I was with Sister Fairbanks. Crazy! He said he wouldn't mind talking to us again- he heard we believe in levels in heaven, and he wanted to hear about it. He did say he had no interest in joining the Mormon church. but we were like, sure! So we said we would come by the next day.

So here we come the next day, ward missionary in tow so we can go into his apartment. He tells us about his religious beliefs- he believes in, if I remember it correctly, "the master path." He said they are basically Christians.... they believe there is always a master on the earth... it sounded like a video game or something. Maybe you can google it. But we were so amazing because so much of it sounded like our beliefs! We shared the kingdoms of heaven, and asked if we could come back another time to share all of God's plan, beginning with before we came to earth (the plan of salvation!) But our ward missionary put the kibosh on the whole thing because he wasn't interested in joining, and for that meeting we listened more than we spoke and that's usually a no-no. So... that awkward time when your ward missionary lost you a potentially new investigator. We gave him our number and the Book of Mormon and told him about upcoming General Conference and told him to call or text us! then we left dejected and very much annoyed.

BUT, wonder of wonders! He texted us a few days later, saying thanks for the conversation and that he's been thinking about us and stuff!! We almost died! All is not lost! We texted him back and he didn't reply... but now we have his number! It could happen! When you're not really teaching anyone, even someone who doesn't want to join the church is accepted! Okay, he would be accepted anyway! We just need to let our ward missionary know that. Because guess what? He could change his mind :)

So... that's the most exciting thing that happened this week, I think! We had a GREAT stake conference this weekend, and our Zone Leaders lead the interactive presentation in the Saturday night session and did a great job! I just love all the missionaries :)

We are still working with Brenda, we saw her this week for the first time in about 2 or 3 weeks. She is moving super slow... but she's still moving so we can't complain that much.

Oh, here's sad news. We dropped by John's place tuesday and set up to come by wednesday but he canceled the day of. then a few days later... he sent us a break up text. He said that whenever he meets with us his relationship with his ex "sours". Sister C and I both just laid on the ground. and that's how the others sisters found us when they got home. We are super sad, because he KNOWS it's true and he loves it, but Satan has found his way in in the best/worst way- he's trying to keep his family together but saying goodbye to the LDS church. "for now." I guess all we can do is hope and pray he will find his way back.

Jenna has tried to stop drinking twice this last week, but it didn't work. She needs some serious help- but she goes to court today for her DUIs and we'll find out about her possible jail time. All we can do is pray. I don't think the time for us to teach her is now- she needs to go to a rehab center first. I love her so much and just want to help, but I'm not here to be her friend. I'm a missionary and I need to be a missionary.

I love all the people here and just want to help them in all the ways they need help! But we can't to everything- we're called to serve, and that's what we're trying to do. Mostly it feels like I'm called to find everyone on the ward directory and then tell the ward council about the people they have no idea about. sigh. But we're doing our work! and trying to teach. Every day I get a little better, and I can see how much my sweet companion has learned in her first three months here. Transfers are the first few days of April, so we'll see if we stay together here! I would love that so much! But I think one of us, if not both, will be training again.... time flies!!

Well, I'm off to enjoy the rest of P-day. and take a nap. I love you all!

Love, Sister Hailey Brown

PS- we hiked camelback this morning!

our zone at the top! we all made it!
our district- or the ones who were able to come today. missing some sick sisters

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Dust in the wind.... March 10, 2014


Hello family and friends! Well, I was reminded that today is my 8 month mark! I entered the MTC on July 10th. It seems like a whole other lifetime ago! It's almost like I have my Utah life, and my Arizona life. It seems similar at times and yet is so different! I'm going to be so confused when I go back to Utah- I'm getting my Arizona geography down pat, and zip codes and area codes and freeways and the lingo.... Just not the heat. It's not too hot outside yet, but when it hits 80 and we're walking around or getting into the hot car I just want to fall into one of those nice pools just sitting around empty.... Because they're "too cold" right now.

Yes, some native Arizonians are still cold right now.

But not me! Nope, it's time to go shopping for some more light weight clothing! It's getting hot.

Anyway. What did I do this week? Hmm.

Well, I went on exchange with Sister Garrett! She is super fun and I just love her so much! She came to my area with me, and she showed me how to talk to people. And she helped so much as we finally got to talk to a potential investigator and set up another appointment with her! yay!

We met with Doina again... but then it got super crazy because someone at the home she lives at got sick, and then people were running around... and then her boss, the house owner, kept stopping and asking us questions about the Book of Mormon and things we believe. He is also from Romania, so I'm glad those Romanian copies of the Book of Mormon are around that house! His main upset was that Mormon's name was larger and above the name of Jesus Christ. He thinks it should be, The Book of Jesus Christ, written my Mormon. Or something. In my head all I can think is, so what! It doesn't matter what it is called, but what is contains! But I didn't say anything, and Sister Carambelas and I both agreed that Christ's name should be bigger, to show he is the focus of the book. But we all love God and Jesus, so we left on a good note :)

Thursday... We got to go to the Temple!!! Only being able to go every three months is not often enough!!

Needless to say, we all loved it and really needed it! This is a picture of Pinnacle Zone- all the missionaries in the North Scottsdale Stake.

I don't think I told you about the best referral ever from last week! We got a less active referral from Headquarters, which is really unusual. But we met her last week- Summer and her husband are both members but inactive, and three of their four girls are 8 and older but not baptized! We've met with them a few times and introduced them to the Primary president, who has four girls the exact same ages- 2-3, 7 turning 8, 9, and 10 turning 11. We are so excited to work with them! We have never met the husband- Summer says he wouldn't be interested. But even if all we do is get the girls involved in activity days, we are so excited to do it! They asked us questions about where we came from (and dinosaurs- so cute!) And they didn't know the story of Adam and Eve or Noah or anything! We hope we can come teach them the gospel!

We were also able to meet with a recent convert who has stopped coming to church- turns out it is because she wants to be outside, not inside. She is super busy as well, so that doesn't help! But I have been trying to get a hold of her since I got here at thanksgiving and it finally happened! Perseverance people. It works.

We met with Jenna briefly on Saturday. She might go to prison for few months because of her DUIs- and we found out other really hard stuff, and we just want to help her so much but it's all up to her. So we'll see what happens at her court appearance on thursday. But she loves God and wants to do what is right. We are nervous and sad. Pray for her!

Yesterday was a great day at church, even though no investigators showed up. Brenda still has family in town so we're trying to set up a time to meet. We got to have dinner with a member's Catholic mother, and a Muslim from Jordan who is here to do his residency at the Mayo. We had a great religious discussion! Basically, we all love God. That's the most important thing, isn't it? :)

I am so happy to be here and learn so much. I Love you all!!

Love, Sister Hailey Brown


Monday, March 3, 2014

When it rains in the desert, it pours!! In a good way :) .... March 3, 2014


Hi everyone!!! I think the biggest news around here is the BEAUTIFUL rainstorm we had on Saturday! it rained and rained and rained off and on all day. We had a great time driving through the puddles!!

We didn't have very many lessons this week- it happens. but other fun stuff comes with missionary life too! I'll do that part first :)

On Saturday morning, we woke up to pouring rain! Then skipped off to see if the ward 5k was still going to happen. But God was looking out for us and the temperature was perfect! It sprinkled a little during the run and it was perfect! Except for the huge puddles we had to avoid, and the whole "running" part. But we had a good time and proudly brought up the rear! Someone was taking pictures but I don't have them and I don't think we really need to see them :) We ran through a neighborhood in the Paradise Valley area of our ward, and through the Camelback Golf Course and they had lots of birds! So that was great :) A lot of people showed up, and we are so happy that it was a hit! Now I can say that I've completed a 5K!

After the run, we went to central Scottsdale to get a hitch put on our car for a bike rack, and driving through Old Town Scottsdale we decided to stop and get lunch. It is a super crowded touristy area and we barely found a parking spot, but we got to walk around in the rain and see the real Scottsdale!

 On Sunday was the Gilbert Temple Dedication. It was broadcast to the church buildings and I am so happy that I was able to participate! We went to the session that started at noon and President Monson was there to give the dedicatory prayer. It was such an amazing thing to witness! And then walking out to our car we saw the "day after" clouds and I just had to take a picture!


Sunday night was a fireside where our mission president spoke, along with Pancho and Stephenie Meyer. The topic was, "Why I Believe." It was so amazing, and it had a really great turn out! no surprise though:) They are so full of the Spirit and are a great example to all of us of faith. I loved it! And yes, I especially loved being able to see so many of my friends and past companions there as well :)

For an update on the normal missionary work stuff- which is never normal!- we set up some appointments for next week, tried to see a lot of people, and met with Doina! We had her bring her Romanian copy of the Book of Mormon and her Restoration pamphlet and talked about Joseph Smith. We still can't really teach her without a translator, so she can ask questions and we can ask questions. She has to work at this caregiver home- where she also lives!- and only gets one day off a week. It's really hard for her, but we are still trying to help her the best way we can.

We are really trying to work with the ward members to get more missionary work going. We are so excited to listen to General Conference and see what else is said about missionary work! The work is so hard and tiresome and exhausting, and you don't always see the results you think you will, but I'm learning that as long as I am doing my best to serve the Lord, He accepts my offering. I am so thankful for a loving Heavenly Father and for the direction the gospel gives to us in this life. I see so many people reject it for little reasons or for misunderstandings and it upsets me! Nothing means more to me than being happy, and I KNOW that the only way to happiness in this life is by living the commandments God has given us, following His prophets, and worshiping Him each Sunday as I renew my covenants as I take the sacrament. We are so blessed, and I really can't say it enough.

I love you all so much! Keep the faith and be happy!

Love,  Sister Hailey Brown

PS- So we have this game we play in the car.... we look for out of state license plates and hit the ceiling and call it out when we see one. It is crazy how many we see! This is the place to be this time of year! Canada plates are two points- they happen a lot! And a little motorcycle plate is 3 points. We make ways to entertain ourselves :) We have fun!

Okay, bye! Love you! Drive safe! :)