Monday, June 30, 2014

I don't know what to name this....‏

Sta. Cruz Zone
Kamusta naman po kayo? We are just doing swell here in little old Sta. Cruz! I survived presenting at my first Zone Training Meeting as an STL and it wasn't too shabby. I also survived The Fried Chicken Experience. Last week the other 2 sisters in our apartment decided to serve Bishop and make him and his family dinner. Then at church on Sunday he came up to them and said, "Sisters we appreciate the gesture, but really? You can come over sometime and I'll teach you how to cook." Haha So usually I cook, but we were like, "It couldn't of been that bad. We're having fried chicken for lunch. Why don't you 2 make it so we can see." So they did. And Sister Hopkins took a big bite and proceeded to yell, "Don't eat it!! It's still raw!" Well, now we know. Hahahaha

We didn't go on any exchanges this week because all of our sisters were sick or busy so I'll just tell you about some of our investigators. We are teaching the Pamilacan family. The mom is a returning less active member and we are teaching of her kids and her husband. They are SO makulit!! We teach the kids and the dad separate lessons and during the kids' lesson we hear this awful sound coming from behind us. So we turn around and it's Bro. Pamilacan trying to herd his turkeys with what we think was his version of what turkeys sound like. He is always making faces and weird noises during our lessons. He reminds me a lot of Jim Carey. Only he isn't acting. It's his real life. Anyways, I like teaching them and the kids are getting baptized sana next week.

Last but not least, I re-read my call letter yesterday and as I read the words, "Dear Sister Brown, You are hereby called to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Philippines San Pablo Mission," I felt this overwhelming feeling of... just rightness. To be honest, the first time I read it over a year ago, I didn't exactly feel that. I had a few doubts that that was where I was needed. But over the last year, I have come to know that this is exactly where I need to be and I am so thankful to be serving the Lord in the Philippines San Pablo Mission. 

Love you all to the moon and back! Thanks for all of your support and prayers. Have a great week! 

XOXO, Sister Brown

Zone Training Meeting

Ward FHE with Sister Morales and Sister Rivera


Adam and Ian

Surviving Exchanges and The Best Meeting in the Whole Church‏

Mabuhay! Kamusta kayo lahat? So it's been a good week of slippin' and slidin' on the dirt of paths of Sta. Cruz in rainy season. I have yet to go down. But I know it's coming. Also had a good honesty reminder this week. I told one of our tricycle drivers I was Filipina when he asked where I was from. He kindly, and very seriously, reminded me that lying was against my religion. Haha he got me there :) Life lesson of the week: No sarcasm in the Philippines.

I also survived my first two exchanges! So exchanges mean me and Sister Wilkes bring another companionship into our area and we change companions for the day and we are supposed to help the other sisters improve. But really I have come to the conclusion after this week that President calls Sisters who need the most help to be STL's because I have learned SOOO much from these Sisters.

 On Tuesday I got to spend the day with Sister Mahoni, who lives in our house and is from New Zealand. She is absolutely amazing! Every time she speaks she brings the spirit. It doesn't matter what she says. She even told one of our less actives that if he'd come to church, coconuts wouldn't fall on his leg (that was his excuse for not coming last week...) and I still felt the spirit! She taught me how to do my base lesson plans and how to ask better questions and how to have more fun doing missionary work :)

On Friday I went with Sister Aquino. She is Filipina and is assigned in the area next to ours and has been in the field for 2 weeks. I'm gonna be honest, I miss my Filipina companions. I loved spending the day with her! She is the sweetest most amazing sister and she has overcome a lot of crazy challenges in her life. She taught me a lot about loving people. Even in our OYM's (people we just met) she would tell them we loved them. 

On top of exchanges, I got to go to my first Missionary Leadership Council, AKA The Best Meeting in the Whole Church. It's basically where all the STL's and ZL's meet in San Pablo and President Peterson just lets out all of the revelations he's received. Plus it was President's last one so he told us time didn't matter and we were just gonna go until we didn't have any more questions. It was AWESOME! My mind was blown by the end of the meeting. And my heart was breaking a little bit because it was the last time I would see the Peterson's for the next 6 months. They have seriously changed my life and I know that I can do this next 6 months because of the things they have taught me about my Savior and His atonement. 

This week was amazing and it was super fast! They say being an STL makes life speed up. I testify to that. I love all of you and am so thankful for your support and prayers. Have a fabulous week! 

XOXO, Sister Brown

The Day Of Fathers. And Taylor Swift in Sta. Cruz...‏

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all of you wonderful fathers out there, especially my own! Thank you for all that you have done for me and the things that you have taught me, especially about persevering and for your confidence that I can do hard things. Hope you have the best day ever and I love you tons! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my sweet mom! Wish I could be there to celebrate but I'm out doing bigger and better things ;) 
 So first of all, thank you Kylee Hurd for your letter! I'll work on writing back mamaya. Also I didn't really get to tell you much about my area last week. Sta. Cruz is awesome! It's pretty much like trekking through the jungle everyday. Also the ward is amazing! Bishop is like the most on-the-ball Bishop ever and the members are super good at working with us. Especially Sister Morales. I call her Mamu because she insists she is my Lola haha :) She works with us almost every single day and we call her the 3rd STL because she is so magaling! 
 My housemates are all foreigners and I love them! Especially Sister Mahoni. She's Tongan and she only refers to me as Taylor Swift because she swears we look alike. Sometimes she calls "Taylor Swift!" from the tricycle so now all the tricy drivers know me as T-Swift as well. I'll take it. 
This week was our very last Zone Conference with President and Sister Peterson. It's safe to say every one of us missionaries just bawled like babies. Especially the Elders. It was such a good meeting! It started out with 8 Polynesians singing acapella so I knew it was gonna be good. Then President Peterson and Sister Peterson had a Q&A where we could ask them absolutely anything we wanted and President taught us how to know if he's the one haha :) It was really focused on the doctrine of family... Oh no, it's because I only have 6 months left... 

Some of the things I have learned from these 2 amazing people are about the enabling power of the atonement, the divine potential we each have to become like God and that this life is really just a chance to "Become," and from Sister Peterson, it is possible to be beautiful in the Philippines and "Drink more water!" My favorite thing that was said at this last conference was this, "I don't just believe IN Him. I believe Him."- Sister Peterson How true is that? We shouldn't just believe that He's there, we should believe in all of the promises our Savior has given us! Especially the promise of His atonement. Believe that He really can give us the power to overcome anything. I know that my Savior lives and that He is giving me power every day to do impossible things. I love Him and am thankful for the opportunity to serve Him.
 I am going on my first exchanges this week. Pray for me. 
Love you all from the bottom of my toes! 
 XOXO, Sister Brown

Monday, June 9, 2014

Stressed to the Limit

Sister Wilkes
Kamusta na kayo peeps? So first things first, HAPPY BIRTHDAY KADEN AND GRANDMA PAT!!! Kaden, you're a stud. You look just like Joseph Smith in the Restoration video we show everyone. Grandma, you're the best grandma in the whole wide world! Hope you both have the best day ever! 

Also thanks mom for the giant package! It got here just in time for transfer day and it's a good thing you sent those plastic containers for the cereal because this email is live from Santa Cruz, Land of the Ants! 

Yep. I have been transferred yet again. My companion was also transferred and our area was closed. So far I am 3 for 3 on closed areas. Go me. The exciting part is that Sister Lisaca is reopening San Jose 1a, my favorite area of all time! I am so excited for her! And you might be wondering about me, what am I doing? 

Well, President has extended a call to me to be an STL, which stands for "Stressed to the Limit." Joke lang, it means Sister Training Leader which is the sister's equivalent to a Zone Leader. It means I get to go on exchanges with all of the sisters in the 2 zones closest to us and I get to help them improve. Little do they know, I actually have no idea what I'm doing! Also my companion is Sister Wilkes. She is American. After being with Filipinas 24/7 for almost a year, you could say it has been a challenge. She's super magaling though. It will be an interesting transfer. Stay tuned.

Have a fabulous week and do something crazy!

XOXO, Sister Brown
Sis Mahoni housemate
New house in Sta. Cruz

Bishop Ambas
Gandia fam


Michael and Loisa

Newly called STL's need ice cream!

District lunch at Rodillas


Abby and Elvin

Bro. Jaunito, RC


Sis Feli and Sis Alcoreza

Sis Kerr and Sis Brown - 11 months!

Sis Rea and Apo