missionary plaque picture

missionary plaque picture

Monday, November 10, 2014

You Know You're a Real Missionary When...

...the last speck of toenail polish from home is gone.

Seriously, that stuff lasts forever!
Dear Family,
You have ELDER HOLLAND coming to your Stake Conference?? Merry Christmas to you, that's so exciting. You'll have to take good notes and tell me all about what he says. How cool that you get to be interviewed by him, Dad, and Mom gets to lead the choir? Go Mom go! That will be a meeting to remember.
It sounds like everyone's doing well. Congrats on the new trampoline Aubree and Ryan, that's a great investment. I hope this one doesn't blow away! ;)
I'm not jealous of your weather... it got up to the 80's this week and I was happy as a clam. Apparently Arizona Novembers are a little bipolar? When it dipped below 50 I thought I was going to die... I've gotten soft! Haha
Well, we got to take a road trip to Vegas on Tuesday to attend an all-day conference with half the mission. Elder Bradley D. Foster of the 2nd quorum of the 70 spoke. (Apparently he is from Rigby? Did not know... embarrassed... but I talked to him and Sister Foster at lunch and they know Darwin and Colene, of course, and the Shippens, of course. Fun!) The entire conference blew my mind. Elder Foster had ideas that completely changed the way I look at missionary work.
A couple bold and loving and awesome quotes from his trainings:
"When missionaries are getting hung up on numbers, they've lost the vision." Oops.

"Too many missionaries are playing missionary. Don't play missionary. BE a missionary!" 
And a couple that hit me hard from Sister Foster's talk:
"I know that at some point, you've knelt down with tears in your eyes and told your Heavenly Father, 'I don't know if I can do this...' You can do this, but you can't do it without your Heavenly Father's help." 
"When you're tired and discouraged, you remember Who called you here." 
I wrote that second one on a piece of paper and hung it above my study desk. Her words have really been helping me this week. As far as the work goes, It was probably one of the hardest weeks I've had on my mission so far. We worked so hard and did our best to implement Elder Foster's ideas about working with the members, but it felt a little bit like we were riding a stationary bike. Almost all of our solid investigators have decided they really want to take their time before deciding to get baptized. They want to keep meeting with us, but it's not really going anywhere... The 8 year old girl we've been teaching, Lita, has stopped answering our questions or speaking in lessons, so now even though she wants to be baptized, we're not sure what to do.
I had my first experience attending 6 hours of church plus meetings on Sunday! I stayed awake through the whole thing! Covering two wards has been an interesting challenge. We really want to work more closely with the members and build their trust in us. The hard part is remembering which members go where. ;) One of our wards is doing much better than the other, so that's the other thing we're trying to figure out how to do-- balance the work and amount of time between both wards.
After planning last night, Sister Martin and I knelt down and had the most heartfelt companionship prayer I think I've ever had. We thanked Heavenly Father for trusting us with both these wards and the people in them and begged his help in accomplishing what we were sent here to do. We were both crying through the whole prayer. I'm so blessed to have her!

Whenever I'm tempted to think that the work is struggling because of me, I remember Who called me here, like Sister Foster said. I have lots of weaknesses, but this is His work, not mine. I'm so grateful to be in an area where I really have to decide, over and over, every day, if I'm going to give it my all. I'm grateful for however long it's going to take to see success. Heavenly Father is mindful of the people in this area, and whether I get to help them with the beginning, middle, or end stages of their progression in the Gospel, I'm just grateful I get to be a part of it.

Fun fact about Kingman: I regularly drive up and down part of Route 66... Like Cars route 66... it's part of my area :) 
Funny story of the week: So I was the designated driver to and from the mission conferenceon Tuesday (that's not the funny part), and on the way back, there was a different sister sitting in the passenger seat than on the way down, because the other companionship of sisters had done an exchange. For some reason I assumed she knew the way to Kingman, even though she's a Lake Havasu sister... When we passed a sign for Needles & Blythe California, I was finally like... "Sister Hutchinson... Do you know how to get to Kingman?" 
Sister Hutchinson slowly shakes her head... Haha so we called someone and they told us just to keep going. We went the looooong way and ended up in Kingman at least half an hour later than we'd planned. Just took the wrong freeway. Oh well. :) Now I can say I've been in all 3 states in the mission in one day. Didn't leave mission boundaries though so that's good! ;)
One other thing... we had a lesson in Gospel Principles (my second gospel principles of the day..) on prayer. Someone shared a story about the power that comes from praying for other people. Whoever is praying for me, thank you for praying for me. It means the world and I can feel the blessings that are coming from your prayers! 

Love you all so much, 
Sister Browning
P.S: Quick update... DJ just called me and informed me that she, Dianna, Zach, and the gang are coming to Kingman to pick me up for her baptism next Sunday. And I don't have a choice. Haha I love her! Hopefully it does work out to where I can go! 

Pictures: Language study with Sis. Martin! I feel like a real life English teacher!
And a family photo at the mission conference. I got to see Sister Luke again (<3 <3 <3BFF<3 <3 <3) The middle sister is Sis Arnold, who trained Sis Luke, Sis Martin, and Sis Herman (the one on the end.) Then Sis Luke trained, me, and now Sis Martin and I are companions!

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