Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Sore Throat- and Some Interesting Transfer News.................June 25, 2014


So hi! I think I forgot to mention it was transfer week coming up. But I survived! And by survive I mean I'm still alive to write you an email, not that I didn't change. Although that too is debatable...

So President Sweeney called Saturday, transfer news day, and left a voicemail. It said Sister Cole would be training this transfer, getting a missionary from the MTC, and I would stay here and we would be in a trio... for now. But, he said there is a high chance I will be getting transferred sometime in these next six weeks due to a situation... but it's not 100%. So I spent the rest of Saturday and Sunday and Monday trying not to freak out or be upset that I might be leaving. Especially when I have no idea when are where! Luckily President sat down with me Tuesday before transfer meeting and explained a bit more.

So, there is a 99% chance I will be transferred middle of next week to a biking area in Mesa, because a sister is going home I believe. You may not know this, but... even though I bought a bike and everything on the mission, because of those biking experiences I prayed and hoped I would never be assigned to a biking area, and I really thought it might never happen. But now it has come. I'm quite surprised at how calmly I took the news. But sitting there with President, and having complete trust in him and in Heavenly Father, I knew it is what it is, and there must be a reason for it. Of course, I don't see the reason why it's even LEGAL for anyone to be on a bike in the middle of summer in the hottest part of the valley, but.... It sounds like it's going to happen.

So yep.

We picked up the greenie, sweet Sister Knapp from Kansas, and went straight to work! and here we are now. 

To back up a little, last week I was sick with a sore throat and sinus problems, but lucky for the world we have been blessed with the Priesthood power again and the earth and a blessing from the closest Elders Friday night kicked that to the curb pretty fast! And we were able to go do a full days work again.
So, all of our investigators are officially out of town. So we're working on finding new ones! And we are working a lot on less active members as well. On Monday we had an amazing day of appointments that was better than all of the last week combined! We had two members come out with us, and we contacted people and taught the Gospel! Janice, our less active whose daughter Jamie is investigating, committed to prepare herself to enter the temple!!! It was an amazing lesson, and the spirit was so strong. We continue to pray that her husband's heart will be softened so she and her daughter may continue to progress.

After that, we harvested and ate some cactus fruit from the Saguaros with a recent convert and her family. Very interesting... I probably wouldn't eat it again, but they love it! When it is ripe and dry is when it tastes the best. They took pictures of us, we'll have to get them and send them to you!

Also, on Sunday we had dinner with a family who has a pet monkey. So that's another animal I check off my list while in Arizona! He was a teeny marmoset, but he jumped around our laps at the dinner table and screeched at us because he didn't know us. It was awesome!!

Going on a mission is amazing, because of all the amazing and crazy things we do but also because of the super duper amazing experiences we have with the people here as we try to help strengthen their faith in Jesus Christ. I love it so much!

Thank you for all of your support and love!!!

Love, Sister Hailey Brown

Picture of us at the temple! this is the missionaries serving in the valley.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Following the Spirit!..........June 16, 2014


So, Hi again! I'm still alive down here! Yeah!

We'll see how it goes when the humidity picks up in July...

But yeah! Good week! We're still struggling with getting people to stay in town long enough to meet with them. So we've devised this plan.... we're going to take all the bananas I let go bad on the counter this week, and make banana bread, and surprise drop it off to people before they leave! Yay! Plus then, we can get some banana bread too :)

We were able to meet with Jamie a few times this week. We taught her and her mother, a less active member, the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They both were very attentive and asked really good questions. We taught them for an hour, and the Spirit was so strong! We taught about the Priesthood, and my companion Sister Cole shared an experience I hadn't heard before, when a Priesthood blessing saved her life as a child. I never realized how important the Priesthood is until I came on a mission and really learned how special it is. We are so blessed to have this power on the earth today, and to have righteous and worthy men who have the authority to exercise God's power on the earth to help His children. Yay for God's love!

Anyways... I love when we can feel the Spirit so strong. It gives me such a feeling of comfort and happiness, but sometimes I realize that I'm being guided by the Holy Ghost too. One experience really stood out to me this week....

Just yesterday, on Sunday, Sister Cole felt we should go by this gated community we have been trying to get in- and we were able to get in! We were able to talk to the inactive member in the community (she wasn't even really rude! yay!) and as we turned to leave Sister Cole asked if we should try the house across the street. It had several cars in the driveway, so we knew it wasn't empty for the summer. But I hesitated. I really hate knocking on someone's door randomly and asking if they would be willing to learn more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I hate doing it, but I feel bad if I don't. So Sister Cole made me decide what to do. I stood there by the car and just prayed in my head. I wanted to do what was right. As I prayed, my thoughts just keep turning towards going and trying someone else. It wasn't any feeling, just the thoughts in my head. I know that the Spirit can come to us in our thoughts, so, although I felt weird about it, we decided to not try that house and try someone else. As we were driving to their house, we passed by a potential investigator's house. The sisters before us just said she might be interested. We had tried her house before and it appeared empty for the summer, so we weren't really going to keep trying for now. But, I noticed a van in the driveway and pointed it out to Sister Cole, and we switched directions. She wasn't home, but we talked to her step-dad who told us she would be gone for the summer. So, now we know!

It isn't anything big, but to be it was just a little miracle. We weren't led to a new investigator or someone who would let us inside, but we were led to find the knowledge that would help us to organize ourselves better and use our time effectively. Now we don't have to keep worrying about the person who lives at this house- now we know we can try in August!

It is such a small thing, but it made me think about how the Spirit presents itself in different ways to different people. That is probably why it is so hard to describe! It can be difficult to know what is really the Holy Ghost and what is you. It take a lot of practice and prayer. But I know I am continuing to learn and discover each day how I can be a better follower of the Holy Ghost.

I am so thankful for the guidance of the Holy Ghost in my life each day, even though I'm sure I often don't recognize it. I am thankful for the people all around me who help me to develop my talents and learn new qualities to help me and help others.

I love being on mission! Thanks to everyone out there who is helping me and supporting me as I serve the Lord. I love you!

Love, Sister Hailey Brown

Sister Cole and I in front of the Mesa Arizona temple!

Sister Hubmann and I at the missionary lunch after the temple. 
She goes home in August! ah!!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Fire Danger EXTREME....................June 9, 2014


Yes, that is what the signs say around here.
Fire Danger EXTREME.
I don't even know if they have an option that is lower than that!
It is hot and dry.

So, Hi again! And welcome to my soapbox!

The desert heat has finally, officially kicked in. What's great is that the heat doesn't feel so hot! Well, it feels extremely hot, but it's mostly bearable. The hardest part is the intensity of the sun on the skin. I'll say to myself in the morning, "Oh, we have a meeting today and appointments, I don't need sunscreen," but then just the short amount of time being outside feels like my skin is burning! So I'm going to start getting better at that! But no worries, I haven't gotten any sun burns yet :)

Working in this heat has been interesting... Luckily for missionaries all over Arizona, if we ask anyone for water, they have to give us some! We met a woman, the next door neighbor to a less active woman we've been trying to get ahold of, and she was super nice and offered us some water inside her house. She told us about her life, growing up in Lithuania and escaping to Germany and eventually the United States during World War II. She takes care of her mother, who is over 100 years old and fell and broke her shoulder a few weeks ago. I can't wait to go back and meet her! The woman, Jura (pronounced Yura), grew up Catholic, but knows a lot of great Mormons and said we can come back. We don't know if we'll get anywhere (but really, you never do know!!) but we left her with a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and our number if she ever needs help with anything! We already love her to pieces!

The craziest thing happened a few hours later, where we met a man who grew up in The Netherlands, and had to go into hiding at 17 because they wanted him to work in the camps. He hid until the war was over! He said he turns 90 in August and is all alone. So he said we can come back and visit him! Two great historical experiences in one day- whoo!! Only would I be this blessed while serving the Lord! Of course, I never would have met them without knocking on a few doors!

We had some great lessons with investigators this week, and met a few potential investigators, but perhaps the most exciting thing was our less active member who came to church! We met Janice probably our first week here, and she hasn't been active since she got married to a Catholic man. But with both of her parents dying last year, she has been thinking about coming back to church. Now we are teaching her, and her 15 year old daughter Jamie who is not a member. Unfortunately, Jamie's father wouldn't let her come to church. But we will keep fasting and praying that his heart will be softened! Miracles truly do happen every day.

I love the people here so much! I wish I had the time and energy to tell you about every single person here. I love how many people all over the world are so kind and loving! I know that the knowledge that our Heavenly Father loves us blesses us and helps us to be happy. By following His commandments we find happiness here on earth, and as we continue to follow the path laid for us by Jesus Christ we will find happiness forever! How can we be happy here, if we don't believe there is a place and a way to be happy after we die? I am so thankful for all those who have gone before me and given so much so that we all can be where we are now, so blessed. I can't wait until I get a chance to dive deeper into family history to see the people who built the world! And to my sisters: Google Prince Owain Glyndwr Gruffudd. Totally related to him. This is why rocks! love it.

anyways..... so that's a cool tidbit I found. Think of all the work we can all do, is this life and the next, and we all strive to invite others to come unto Christ and learn more! Because a loving God has given us so much knowledge!

Ahh, it's just so amazing how much we are blessed.

And yes, I am blessed so much by all of YOU!!! Thanks for all your love and support! Love you!!!!

Love, Sister Hailey Brown

life is great :)

Monday, June 2, 2014

Arizona Heat and Brithday Cake!..............June 2, 2014


Hello Everyone! 

It was a birthday this week!  It was awesome :)

We had District Meeting, and one of the sisters let it slip that it was my birthday, so they all sang to me and we went out to lunch after to Macaroni Grill, where they brought me a little cake with candles and our waitress sang happy birthday in Italian. She was amazing! Turns out that is why she was hired :) 

Then someone told our dinner that night it was my birthday too! She bought a cake and a card and a balloon- and they don't even eat cake! And they sang again and I blew out all 22 candles she put on it. :)
The next day Sister Cole and I had another mini-party with all the accessories you sent me, mom! And we ate more cake. Since the members sent us home with the whole cake! Because they don't eat anything unhealthy, like cake. :) 

 Anyways! Great Birthday! I haven't celebrated that much since I was probably 10! Great times :)

This week I spent two days down in the Desert Ridge ward with Sister Baham, and we did a lot of knocking on doors in the heat. But we had fun :) But I did miss some exciting things in my ward! Sister Cole met with two new investigators this week! Hopefully I can meet them soon! And we were expecting about 5 nonmembers at church yesterday! But we ended up sitting alone. But it turns out Justin (investigator) and Tonya (returning less active) showed up in the middle of sunday school, so we had a lesson with them after church. So someone showed! yay!

We have a lot of good work going on here. Unfortunately it's being slowed by summer vacations. Too bad we don't get a summer vacation! But I am so thankful everyday that I live with members who keep the house at 70 degrees or cooler, and that the AC in our car works. Tender Mercies :)

I LOVE being on a mission and serving the Lord, because I know that I am doing the Lord's work and He is proud of me. I am learning to be more Christ-like everyday, and we are striving to help everyone we meet become closer to Christ! Even in the scorching heat, I love this work. :)

I love you all! Thank you for your support and your love! 

Love, Sister Hailey Brown