Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving in the 'Bang‏

You all are probably currently preparing yourself to stuff your faces full of food to celebrate the Pilgrims coming to America. That's America for ya ;) Grandpa, eat an extra pumpkin pie for me! A whole one. So to start off, I want to say what I'm thankful for. Flushing toilets, cereal, and small spiders. But on a more serious note, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to serve a mission and to see how the gospel changes people, especially how it's changed me. And I am extremely grateful for each and every one of you. For all of your emails and letters (thanks Grandpa Brown and the wonderful Brown family for the letters!), your encouraging words, your prayers, your support, and your love. Leaving everything behind for a whole new world makes you realize just how blessed you are and I am very, very blessed. And to show my gratitude, here is a very Filipino recipe called Oreo Balls that we make almost every single day.

Oreo Balls
2 sleeves of Oreos
1 regular sized can of sweetened condensed milk
Crushed Graham Crackers
Mix them all together, put it in the fridge until it sets up, make into little balls and roll in crushed grahams, nuts, sprinkles or dip 'em in chocolate, whatever you want!
You are welcome.

Updates for the week, I ate snails. Bet that makes ya really hungry for Thanksgiving! They actually weren't too bad, kinda like mushrooms. Also, one of our investigators told us he just wanted to go to the Terrestial Kingdom because it sounded kinda hard to get to the Celestial. I wasn't quite sure what to say to that... And I met another Sione. His name is Elder Vimihi and he's from Tonga and I swear him and Sione are the same person. Speaking of Sione, haven't heard from him for awhile... (It worked last time, thought I'd give it a try ;)) He is also from the Tacloban mission. We got 15 new missionaries and there are a few in my zone. They are all amazing and I love them for serving! And finally, Mission Tour was Monday. That's where the area 70 president and his wife, President Brent Nielson and Sister Marcia Nielson, come and speak and then he picks a few people to interview. I was the lucky one! And I'd woken up at 4am to get there so I was super coherent. But let me just say, the love of the General Authorities is just so evident in their eyes. They truly are disciples of Christ, you just know when you look at them. And I really hope that one day people will see that in me too.

As for investigators, last week I mentioned Joel and Arianne needing prayers. If you prayed, thank you! We went to them later that night and they just looked so burdened down. They told us that Arianne's mother, who is super Catholic and in whose house they live in, wouldn't allow Ari to get baptized. Of course, the choice was theirs but being baptized meant risking being kicked out of the house and having to uproot their little family and move to Cavite, another mission. All 4 of us, Sister Meti and I and Joel and Arianne, fasted and prayed that they would be able to get baptized. And although it was postponed for a week, they're getting baptized! They know that it's right and Joel just wants to have the Priesthood in his home and Arianne doesn't want to add any more time to the year they have to wait to be sealed in the temple. So they are getting baptized. The thing is, it's secret. And I'm a little worried about it. But we talked about the consequences and they have the faith that everything will be fine so I trust that it will. They are just the cutest little things ever! I love them!  Noli is also getting baptized a week late but he is so ready. He is just so much happier and has so much more direction in his life now. And he has the sweetest, most sincere testimony.

This is for all of you returned missionaries. I'm feeling a little stuck lately, like I have to teach Lesson 1 the same way every time because that's just how we do it. But I know that isn't how it should be. So how can we mix it up a little?

Thought of the week is from Mission Tour. There is holiness in everyday life. But sometimes it isn't apparent. We have to look for it. For example, walking into a messy room with toys and clothes all over could be a cause of stress, or it could be a scene of holiness. The mess means Heavenly Father has trusted you with his precious children. The toys mean someone loves those kids enough to buy them toys. The clothes mean someone cares if those kids are warm. It really is holy. So my goal this week is to find holiness in the Philippines because sometimes, it seems to be a very unholy place. Challenge to you, find holiness in your life. 

Have a great week, eat some turkey for me, and shop til ya drop!

XOXO, Sister Brown

Cabuyao zone on the way to mission tour

Mission Tour..not sure who was manning the camera but no one is ready..guess you need candid shots too?
Sister Brown and President Brent H. Nielsen

Yeah...those snails are the ones you find in your garden!

Tastes like chicken! ;)

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