missionary plaque picture

missionary plaque picture

Monday, April 13, 2015

Conchas Are Not Snails

Dear Family,

Wow. What a whirwind of exciting happenings at home, huh? Congratulations to Brittney Young, she looked beautiful :) And congratulations to Atkin and Ruth!! Cutest couple ever! Now, if only they were getting married in the Las Vegas temple.. ;) I'm also super excited for Jennifer Houghton and Josh Browning and Katherine and Aubree for their talks... why are all our relatives so cool?? How did I get to be so lucky to be related to so many amazing people?
Every time you send pictures of the house, I'm surprised. There's so many changes happening to it that I can hardly keep up!  Can't wait to see the finished product! 

Mom, thanks for keeping my blog updated. It'll be exciting to look through it from start to finish in 8 months :) Will you also add anyone who requests me on facebook? Unless they look suspicious. Haha
To answer your questions, the number of investigators we have changes almost daily. It's really easy to find investigators in a YSA ward because everyone (exaggeration) says yes to us. Then comes the process of figuring out who's genuinely interested, who's actually willing and ready to keep commitments, and who's just too nice to say no. A lot of young adults will simply stop returning your calls or answering the door, and you have to drop them in faith that Heavenly Father will lead you to the elect. Right now we have a very small number of progressing investigators but I KNOW that this week will bring miracles :)

So that anti-waffle fast was just something personal I was doing to overcome some particularly tricky weaknesses. It was the most amazing fast I have ever done. I feel like I understand the Atonement on a much more personal level, and I'm so so grateful. I feel like I see others through a slightly cleaner lense now. I feel less critical and more tolerant. But of course I have to keep praying for Heavenly help every day.
Oh, and I've been meaning to apologize for the many texts you keep getting with pictures of me, mostly after I've eaten a delicious and fattening meal... the members here love to do that when they feed us. Olivia is a laurel in the area whose family feeds us sometimes. She wrote on that chalkboard and had us pose with i before leaving dinner. She also lives across the street from the park, so she brought us popsicles when we were playing Pday sports one day. She loves missionaries. :) 

This week, Sis Navarro and I both felt so fired up to make this the VERY best week of the transfer. And then, on Thursday, Sister Navarro got sick. And then, the next day, I got sick. So we were down and out for a day and a half. Through a Priesthood blessing Sis Navarro was able to make it through Ehidy's baptism with no problems :) The priesthood is real! Ehidy's baptism was really beautiful and she was actually baptized in Spanish. Even without any family support, the room was full of her lifelong friends that have just loved her into the Gospel. I'm really excited for Ehidy. She's here to stay. :)
We're working with a less active named Xareny who was baptized 3 years ago. Her cousin Nancy, who got baptized soon after her, left on her mission to Canada at the beginning of the transfer. The blessings of serving a mission are real: Because of her cousin's example, Xareny finally wants to come back to church and become fully active :) When we met with her this week she'd been reading the book of Mormon every day and praying every day. She came to church this Sunday and got a warm welcome from lots of members who love her! We had an amazing lesson with her about the Plan of Salvation, where we mostly focused on the Atonement and Temples.
Xareny had two good guy friends there-- both return missionaries. After the lesson, her friend Carlos goes, "Oh, I brought some conchas for the sisters! I'll be right back." Sister Browning, the only non-hispanic in the room, asks, "What are conchas?" Jason, without missing a beat: "Snails." Well, I'm not that dumb, so I protested, but everyone in the room continued to back up Jason and try to convince me that conchas are indeed snails-- like escargot or something. So I finally go, "Well, Carlos won't lie to me." Carlos walks in and Jason says "Carlos, back me up, conchas are snails, right?" "Right." He holds open the paper bag and I look in-- Gahhhh-- they're like Mexican donut things. Haha. They got me good on that one. :) 

Ehidy had a beautiful baptism!

And it's Sister Browning in her natural habitat. Every baptism, every district & zone meeting, etc. Learn to play the hymns, kids! 

This is a concha.  It is a donut…not a snail.

On Sunday someone walked through the chapel doors and it was STEFANIE! She has moved from Robindale to Temple view, hip hip hooray!! Oh I've missed this girl. It was a heavenly reunion. 
On Saturday we got our transfer doctrines. I am staying here and getting a brand new missionary, fresh from the MTC. GULP. I don't know who she is yet, but I will find out on Wednesday afternoon when I go pick her up from the mission office. I'm very nervous, but very excited. Please pray for my new companion and for me! I'm determined to help her love her mission and have a good experience from the start. I know that through the enabling power of the Atonement we can do anything that God asks :)
 D&C 90:24 "Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good."
I love you all! Thank you for your examples to me and your prayers :)
Love, Sister Browning

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