missionary plaque picture

missionary plaque picture

Monday, March 23, 2015

"The Gospel is a QUEST, not a Club!"

--A very smart YSA in church yesterday.

Hey Howdy Hi :)
Wait, Mom's got some scoliosis too? Do you all have scoliosis? "Did they all go to florida?" Name that movie! Anyway, you are all making me nice and self-conscious about my posture. I slump and slouch all the time, so I'm probably next. Haha ;)
I told Katherine my heartiest congratulations as she begins being the cutest, most darling, scrub-wearing, blood-pressure taking, butt-wiping CNA student that ever lived. She's amazing!
You know, the more you tell me about it, the more I kind of wish I could read that Crucial Conversations book on my mission. I feel like it would help a lot, with my companion, investigators, working with members, etc... But I guess that's what PMG and the scriptures are for!
Speaking of communication. I'm still genuinely considering changing my major to communications, or human resources, or something. I really don't think I'm committed enough to the idea of being a public school teacher. Anyone want to do some research for me? Find out what avenues are out there? :)
Ok, on to my week. My week was good! Wait... what even happened this week? They're all starting to blur together. I can only imagine how I'll feel when I've been out for a year. Oh! Family home evening with President Snow! Yeah, that was a blast. Apparently that was the first time he's held a family home evening in the mission home. I hope he makes it a habit and invites a different set of missionaries each time. He and Sister Snow really just need to take a break more often and let someone else teach them! They work so hard! 

The members in this ward are awesome. I'm slowly getting to know more of them and it's delightful. On Tuesday, we brought a member named Nick to a first lesson with an investigator named Fausto. As we were prepping him before the appointment, we asked, "will you invite him to be baptized?" At the end of the lesson, we turned to Nick, and he goes"and, we would like to ask, will you be baptized by someone holding the Priesthood authority of God?" Yeah, Nick! Whatta champ. That was a first for him and for us. :)
On Friday we street contacted this old gentleman who gets this scary look in his eye and goes, "wait right here, this guy can Bible bash with the best of 'em!" Ohh noooo. We were terrified, but stuck rooted in front of his apartment until this other old guy comes out. He had this HUGE drawing covered in scripture references from the Bible, Book of Mormon, and D&C. Turns out he's a member! The picture was his drawing of the valley of Lemuel and the river Laman. Every mountain is a gospel topic that he's studied and all the references he's found. SO cool! He knows his stuff, and has such a strong testimony, but he never goes to church... We'll sic the family ward elders on him and hopefully that will change :)
We had dinner one night with a member who said, "I think the difference between a good missionary and a great missionary-- because every missionary is good-- is that a great missionary really loves the people, and you can see it." I want to be that missionary so badly. I really, truly, just want to turn outward and do everything out of love. But love is the hardest attribute!

 I was pondering this as I drove to our next appointment with our investigator Kassie. Kassie has been through so much in her life. In the lesson she was crying about the difficulties she's facing as she prepares for baptism. She was really distressed and the Spirit kind of left, but as she calmed down, the Spirit told me to sing a song to get the Spirit back in the room. In my head I was just like, "um, Spirit, I can't just start singing to this girl..." but I said, "Kassie, we're here to help you come unto Christ, but we can't do it without the Spirit. This might be weird... but can I sing you a song?" So she said yes and I sang Just Like A Father Would, the song you sent me the sheet music for. I used to listen to it over and over when Josh first left on his mission, so I knew the words by heart. I had a feeling it would help her. Although the song did help the Spirit come back (thank goodness it didn't do the opposite, ha-ha) it might have been just as much for me as for her. As I thought about the words of the song I thought about her and how the thought of a loving Heavenly Father is probably so foreign to her. And I felt so much love for her and was able to express to her His love. I know that what I felt wasn't coming from me, it was coming from Him. The love you feel for people means so much more when you have to pray for them and serve them and struggle for it, because then you realize what you're feeling is coming from a source so much greater than yourself.
I just have to quickly give a shout-out to our STLs. They're teaching me a lot about how to have FUN and be a missionary at the same time. It has come to my attention that I'm a little bit of a stick-in-the-mud. My idea of what counts as "fun" is just not everyone else's apparently. Sometimes having fun even sounds like work to me. How sad right?? I don't want to be a stick-in-the-mud... I LOVE the way they approach their missions! Last Pday they had a spa day for us, they started a movie-quoting competition with us, and they decorated our doorway with leprechaun footprints and shamrocks for St. Patty's.

One day this week, I woke up and got ready and did not feel like going out and talking to people. So I teted the STLs,"Mayday! Mayday! Sister Browning and Navarro are stuck in the molasses swamp! We both feel super sluggish and like doing ANYTHING but work. What is your prescription to get us out of this funk?" 
They're amazing. They said "We have been caught by the swamp monster too but we have discovered to try something new or fun. Try things to bond. Go on a picnic. Go out to eat. Do something fun at lunch. Do a crazy contact, i.e sing to someone, or say you want to take a picture of them for a collage you are putting together, or challenge them to a dance battle. Call up a member that you love and ask to do some service. Take your pick :) we love you both and anything we can do to help we shall try. Sometimes it also just takes a good cry." President Snow was so inspired to send Sister Cook and Sister Hutchings to the zone at this time! 

Mom, I wish you could raise your hand and be my companion, too! Can you imagine how much fun we'd have together?! We'd be unstoppable! I can't imagine anything better! Dear President Snow, please let my mommy come be a missionary with me, love always, Sister Browning. Just kidding. :)
Say hi to Grandpa Snow and give him a big hug for me. Dad, good luck driving all the kids to Seattle! Bring lots of treats and even more movies and maybe some earplugs ;) Just kidding about the earplugs. I love you all so much and pray for you every day. As I was reading the Book of Mormon this morning I came full circle back to my favorite verse in Mosiah 4:19-21. We are all beggars and all depend on God for everything we have. Then why not serve each other in every way we can? I know the church is true, and God loves us!
Love, Sister Browning

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