missionary plaque picture

missionary plaque picture

Monday, November 3, 2014

Sister Browning Learns Spanish, Sort of

Happy Monday from the windy and remote city of Kingman AZ! :)

Megan thinks Kingman is beautiful!  
Whoooo I don't even know where to begin. I feel like I've started a brand new mission. And I have no idea what I'm doing! :) Last Monday I said my goodbyes at FHE and Tuesday I got on a bus and now I'm here... It's like the Wizard of Oz in reverse... I was in the Emerald City, I got swept up in a tornado and landed in Kansas!

This area is pretty cool. Apparently the district leader covers a ward where he and his companion backpack 10 miles down into the Havasupi nation and live in a church building for a week. And one time the sisters went to the Grand Canyon for Pday. Just a little taste of what it's like out here. :) Serving in Kingman is definitely a privilege. Not everyone gets to leave the valley and see this part of the mission, so I feel really grateful!
This work is SO different than what I was doing before. I've gone from working with singles to working with families, from one covering ward to covering two, from the busy city of Las Vegas to the slower-paced... whatever Kingman is. I should feel overwhelmed, but I feel strangely hopeful. We had a rough week but I can't deny that I feel like amazing things are going to happen this transfer.
My companion Sister Martin (Mar-teen, not Mart-in) is an absolute angel. She's from Mexico City and started learning English when we were together in the MTC! So there's a little bit of a language barrier, but honestly, she's doing amazing. She's one of the sweetest, most humble, loving, focused missionaries I've served around. She got sick on Saturday when the temperature dropped suddenly (Kingman knows it's November) so I've been trying to take care of her. Meanwhile she's been teaching me a little bit of Spanish! I can now say "Tu eres mi mejor companera" and "somos las misioneras de la iglesia de Jesus Cristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias" and a couple other things. Whenever an appointment falls through or someone flakes on us, we jokingly say "Salvacion!! Comprendes?!" Hopefully my Spanish is a little less wimpy by the end of our time together. :)
One of my favorite, and also one of the most frustrating, things about this area is working with the Elderly. Sis Smith would always tease me because, in Robindale, whenever I saw an old man walking down the street alone, it made me soooo sad. Like... where's his wife?? What's his story?? Does he have the Gospel?? So now I get to teach them, which is awesome! We're teaching a sweet old man named Ronald who had a stroke recently, but in his earlier days he was a Motown singer. He's got all of these pictures of himself on his walls, gussied up in a tux, posing with people like Aretha Franklin. Apparently he's been taught by sisters fooorrrreeeever, but yesterday, he finally came to church for the first time!! It was stake conference, actually, but Elder Christofferson and Elder Uchtdorf were speaking over a broadcast, so... even better. ;) We also taught a 93 year old lady named Helen who, in her closing prayer, asked God to let her leave this earth already... that sort of thing breaks my heart. I love older people sooo much.

Happy Birthday to Dad, Nelson, and Jeren this coming week!! Do something fun and exciting for me! You have birthday cards coming in the mail! but they might be a little belated :P
We got to volunteer at a community 5k run on Saturday morning-- we were windy and cold but it was worth it!
I've been learning a ton lately about the Atonement. I read in Matthew this morning the account of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and it was a little overwhelming. I love my Savior. He did that for me! The more I learn about Christ the more it motivates me to share the gospel for the right reasons-- not because I'm supposed to, or out of fear of failure, or desire for recognition, but because I have been given a precious gift and the whole world needs it. Whether you're 5 or 95, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the way to lasting happiness.

I love you all so much! 
Sister Browning

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