Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Easter!

FHE with the Lagado family
Kamusta kamu da? That is Visaya. I definitely have the gift of tongues! (Or a companion that speaks Visaya...) But really, you just never know what language you're speaking here in the mission. Sometimes we teach lessons and then at the end, I'll say something and the investigator turns to my companion and says, "Wait, she speaks Tagalog?" I thought we were communicating in Tagalog the whole lesson, but who knows haha :) So happenings of the week, I caused a motorcycle accident! Not really an accident. I just told him "Magandang Hapon!" and he was just staring at me while driving and kinda drove off the road. It was pretty funny. 

Also, this week was Easter! But Easter is really different here. There is no Easter Bunny that brings you eggs. Which lets be honest, where did Americans get that tradition anyway? But then there's Filipino Easter. It's all week and it's called Holy Week. It's a Catholic holiday. There are people dressed like Roman Soldiers marching around the town all week and then there is a big play where they re-enact the death of Christ. In some places in the Philippines, they really crucify someone. But luckily, here in Tayabas it's not that extreme. And then there's Easter Sunday AKA Basahan, meaning that people just get their hoses, buckets, water bottles and anything else they can find and throw water on everyone that walks by. I don't know why. It's kinda like the Easter Bunny thing. So walking to church was like walking through a war zone! It was pretty hilarious and 100% successful! We didn't get hit at all! I think we should do that in America :)

While Easter is about the death of Christ, it is not a cause for mourning. That's something I really love about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We focus on His victory over sin and death. In my personal study I read this scripture, 1 Nephi 21:15-16:
 15 For can awoman forget her sucking child, that she should nothave bcompassion on the son of  her womb? Yea, they may cforget,yet will not forget thee, house of Israel.
16 Behold, have graven thee upon the apalms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.
I've read it before, but I never really understood it until I saw a picture of Christ, the prints of the nails in His hands. Brothers and Sisters, he literally CANNOT forget us. He has engraven us on the palms of His hands. He felt each and every one of our pains, sicknesses, infirmities, sorrows, and ultimately He felt the pains of death. And He overcame them all. He knows you. He knows your name. And when you feel that nobody else knows how you feel or what you are going through, turn to Him. Because He does know. I am eternally grateful to my Heavenly Father for sending His son to live and to die and to live again. For me.  I know that the Savior, Jesus Christ, lives. And that because of Him, we have hope of eternal happiness with our families. I might have already shared this with you before, but I felt like it was worth mentioning again. 
Have a fabulous week and remember that you are never alone. Mahal kita!
XOXO, Sister Brown

P-day at Tay Tay falls

Monday, April 14, 2014

Turning 20 and Finally Seeing the Ocean‏

My cute kasama did this
Hellooo! Kamusta kayo lahat? Sana maging maayos kayo doon. So first of all, I SAW THE OCEAN TODAY!!! Second of all, I am 20. I have officially left the teenage years behind me. Thank you for the birthday wishes and thanks mom for the package! I LOVED it! New clothes are much needed and appreciated 9 months into a mission. And of course, the headbands :) To celebrate the big day, we had weekly planning! Only like 34 more of those. But then me and Sister Lisaca had a crazy party! As crazy as it gets for missionaries. We got in our pajamas, ate tons of Oreo balls, and watched The District. Whoa, crazy. I know. 

We didn't get to teach much this week because we had zone interviews, zone meeting, and General Conference. None of our investigators were able to come to General Conference and at first I was kinda sad, but then I was like, "I'm at General Conference listening to the prophet!" It was better than Disneyland. Their were so many great talks! I never wanted it to end! And I wanted to share which ones I liked the most, but I couldn't really decide. So if you haven't already, just watch it. And I'm even kind enough to provide a link so all you have to do is click! 

As I listened to prophet and apostle speak, I couldn't help but notice a pattern. They were calling for soldiers. They were calling for all the members, but especially the youth, to stand. To stand, strong and firm and courageous. It reminded me of Alma 46, when Captain Moroni calls the Nephites to stand “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children” Brothers and Sisters, we've been called to stand up for what we believe. The Lord needs soldiers who aren't afraid to stand alone, who aren't afraid to reach out to others, or to do the right thing even when it is unpopular. So whatever your beliefs may be, whoever you are, be true to it. Stand, courageous, bold, and strong. And the Lord will strengthen you. 

I love you all so much and I am so grateful for the strength that you all are to me! 

XOXO, Sister Brown


Sis Lolita is 80 and still working with the missionaries!
John Michael has Down's Syndrome & he's adorable! He always gives me high fives & kisses on the cheek.
PJ party and the District 

PJ party
New friend Elder Inlayo
Sis Peterson

Monday, April 7, 2014

What the Halfway?!‏

Wow 9 months!!
Hola amigos! Thought I'd switch it up a little this week. ;) But really, how are you? First item of business, HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRONSON AND ZACH! Hope you have an awesome day and eat lots of cake for me. 

So this week I officially hit the 9 month mark in the mission. So if you are still reading these letters and maybe even send one back every now and then, you have passed the test of true friendship! Or you are my mom. But really, thank you for your love and support. It's nice to know people still know your name. 

It was an okay kind of week. We don't really have a lot of progressing investigators right now so we're just trying to find some people. We do have this family, family Legaspi. I love them with all my heart. Their 13 year old, Roniel, is my favorite! That kid is hilarious. The problem is they are super, super busy at work so Roniel is the only one who comes to church and reads the Book of Mormon. But last night, Brother Legaspi read! WOOHOO!!! And our 71 year old investigator (all of the people in Tayabas are pretty ancient) came to church! Miracles really do happen. 

At church last week we learned all about family history. Since the church is the same all over the world, I'm gonna assume you learned about it as well. If you're not a member, I'd love to share. First of all, watch this video. It's pretty catchy. 

Alright now that your life has been changed by that, let me tell ya about I know you all have a Facebook, Twitter, InstaGram, Tumblr, and Pinterest account. So hey, why not add one more! It's like Facebook, but for the dead. Only it's cooler than Facebook because people get salvation out of it, not just another life on Candy Crush. You can learn all about your ancestors, all the way back to Adam and Eve! You can upload pictures and write memories and it's just SO COOL! I just wanna do it right now but I have to wait for another 9 months. So family, get started. Just check it out. I promise it's awesome.

Well, I can't even tell you how excited I am for General Conference! It's weird to think a year ago I was sitting in the Conference Center with my bestest friends listening to President Monson in real life.

Love you all, have a great week, and go find your cousins!

XOXO, Sister Brown

My cute companion
Sister Jennylyn
Typical laundry day in the Pinas
The District