It makes me so happy to hear how many exciting things are happening at home! Nelson and Jeren are all done with school, then? How is it having a full house for a few days? I'm glad you've all had the chance to have lots of fun before Jeren and Lauren take off for Virginia.
Mom, I brag about you all the time and how you've become this exercising-organizing-
remodeling extraordinaire. I love what you said about "no pain, no happy." Just like you feel the most satisfied with a run after you really push yourself, you sometimes experience the most sorrowand the most happiness at the same time. While Sister Luke and I were running the other morning, we were talking about how a mission is like a long run. Sometimes it's exhausting, sometimes it's thrilling, sometimes you look at how far you have to go and it's discouraging, sometimes all you want to do is take a break and walk. But when you get to the end, you'll remember less about how much it hurt and more about how great it was. And you'll be grateful for the hills and proud of the times you chose to keep going and not slow down.
Wellp the cloudy spell is over and the "spoil-Sister-Browning-and-
make-her-think-it-rains-all- the-time-here" weather is definitely done. But that is okay! As the good book says, "blessed are they who are persecuted for my sake" and a little bit of heat is a small price to pay to be doing the Lord's work. I am so grateful to have a car.
Speaking of transportation, my bike turns the hem of my skirts black. Any suggestions on that one, Mommy?
This week we had many many investigators cancel appointments, reschedule, or drop us, and we're teaching several people who we're not sure how sincere they are in learning. We spend a lot of time street contacting and hunting down referrals. Those poor people we street contact... all they want to do is get inside! If only they knew the value of our message! Air conditioning or eternal life? Hmm choices choices. :) But we were still able to see some crazy and amazing things happen!
Did I tell you about Dalton? We started teaching Dalton last week, the shyest sweetest Hawaiian in all the land. I think he was genuinely scared of us when we first knocked on his door. Anyway, he is warming up to us, and more importantly the Gospel. He's been reading and praying and we hope to get him to an activity soon.
We showed up to Dalton's for an appointment on Tuesday, and he was so embarrassed because he had forgotten about it, and we walked up with two members in tow while he was outside boxing his brother and wearing nothing but his spandex jammerz. Pretty comical. His older brother, Skyler, is now investigating as well! He was really intrigued by the Book of Mormon, and when we came back later in the week to re-teach the Restoration, he'd read all the way to chapter 5. That Restoration lesson was really filled with the Spirit and is one of the greatest highlights of my mission so far.
The investigator closest to baptism is Derek-- he's been taking the lessons since the week before I got here. I'll be honest, I didn't know how much he was going to progress at first, but that all changed once he came to church. Coming to church as an investigator is SO important! We talk all the time about how this church is Christ's church, but you need to come to see that for yourself. And being surrounded by the positivity and community of the ward members makes such a huge difference. Zach has become the best member missionary and took Derek under his wing-- he now gives him rides to church, FHE, and institute whenever he can.
Tori (I've been spelling it wrong this whole time. Oops) continues to be such a character. We know that he knows this is true! Little by little, he is opening himself up to the church. He continues to come to every activity and every block of church. After Institute, he told us, "I'm afraid I'm falling in love with this church." Let it happen, Tori!
Both Zach and Donqwel were ordained to the Aaronic priesthood yesterday in church! That was an incredible experience. Zach even got to stand in the circle for Don's ordination. Sister Luke and I got to sit in on priesthood meeting which was pretty special. We felt like protesters. Haha, jokesies.
Thanks for all your prayers, letters, and support! They mean the world to me! Family-- my adorable bishop, Bishop Tuke, is spending the rest of this week in Idaho, staying at Rigby lake and fishing up north. He told me that he would love to drop by and meet you! How cool is that?!! And he said that if you have anything for me, he'd be happy to take it for you. His number is 702-219-7541, and he's got our address. :) I can't think of anything at home that I need that you couldn't just mail to me... but if you do put something together for him to take, I can always use more sheet protectors, colored paper, family photos, and granola. We love granola. :)
Lots of Love, Sister Browning