missionary plaque picture

missionary plaque picture

Monday, April 27, 2015

"I would have to say... April 25. 'Cause it's not too hot, and not too cold."

"All you need is a light jacket!" 
--Miss Congeniality

Dear Family that I love,

HOLY SWIMMING POOL! That is one big hole in the ground. You won't be swimming in it until November, you say? Are you sure you'll want to swim in it in November? Mucho frio. Muy frio. Whichever. It'll be cold. :)
Also, Ryan looks so much older. I almost didn't recognize him in one of those pictures. His hair is a lot darker and he just looks like he's ready to pass the sacrament. ;)
Mom, I love those quotes you sent about courage. One of my favorite anonymous quotes (that Aubree put in my book of quotes, Sister Cook read when she was on exchanges with me and then she quoted it in district meeting this week) is "Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day that says 'I will try again tomorrow.' " President Monson is all about courage! He also said "Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God's approval." It seems like you're all doing lots of courageous things at home and I admire you for it! Keep going and keep being anxiously engaged in such good things!
Thank you for praying for our investigators by name, because those prayers were definitely answered. We had an AMAZING week. Here's an update on investigators:

We were able to get back in contact with John! We gave him a tour of the church building and have had two lessons with him. He seriously just wants to change his life. He's reading and praying and accepted a baptism date of May 16th, but he didn't come to church because he felt underdressed. He has an amazing fellowshipper though; our assistant ward mission leader, Ryan, is helping him so much. It's like they're brothers. Ryan went to pick him up for church and stayed for half an hour trying to convince him that it was ok if he didn't have a shirt and tie. "But you're all suited-and-booted!" says John about Ryan. Well, next week Ryan is bringing an extra white shirt and even putting jeans and a t shirt in his car so that, if need be, he can dress down to make John feel more comfortable. Haha :) It makes a world of a difference for an investigator to have fellowship like that. They may never progress without that crucial support.

We met a girl named Brissa this week who's absolutely amazing. She started being taught by some family ward elders and they passed her off to us. Apparently they took her to the temple and she cried as she felt the Spirit there. All of sacrament meeting yesterday was about the temple and family history work so she loved it. She's in the National Guard and leaves for Hawaii in a few weeks, but she will be baptized in June when she gets back.
We are still teaching Patrick and just pouring our hearts and souls into teaching him. He's still struggling to recognize his answer as to whether these things are true. Sis Koyle and I both feel strongly that he won't get an answer until he comes to church. He's military police so it's hard to get work off but he said he's coming next Sunday. We love him so much.
There's also Britany, Alfonso, and Kenneth that we were able to begin teaching this week. Kenneth is really interested but has difficulty getting work off for church, because his one other coworker is very religious and always asks for Sundays off. So one of them needs to be there. We promised him that if he prays and truly makes it the highest priority, Heavenly Father will provide him a way to come to church.
Ooh, really cool story: We taught a guy named Derr (Dare) this week who is a professional dancer! Sister Koyle was overjoyed. He dances for Cirque du Sole (sp?) in the Beatles show and used to be the lizard in... I think Ka? Can't remember. But the really cool part is that he was in the top 14 of So You Think You Can Dance. He was really interested at first but politely texted us and dropped us which was sad, but... still cool. Someday he'll be ready. 

We had to drop Fausto because he just wasn't progressing :/ We may also have to drop Maria Valeria and Pedro (we've started referring to them as "MVP") because they're not ready to keep commitments either. That's something that's always difficult, determining when to keep focusing on an investigator or when to give them a break. I've learned that it's just like Alma says in 5:62-- "Unto those who do not belong to the church I speak byway of invitation, saying: Come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye also may be partakers of the fruit of the tree of life." Everything we do as missionaries is about inviting, because everything Christ did was about inviting. You can't push people into the font or drag them to the gospel because that defeats the purpose of the Gospel. Living the Gospel means choosing to accept the Savior's invitation and change and progress. Sometimes you have to wait for people to be ready and give them space to reach that point. A missionary's time is really valuable and there's always other people to find who are ready to accept the message.
Miracles are happening in this area, and not just with the investigators; with the members, too. One of my visions for this area was to help every member be involved in missionary work and get them excited about it. In Robindale I was able to see how, when the singles start doing missionary work, everything in the ward improves. People start getting out of their shell and becoming friends. Attendance in Sunday meetings goes up, and so does the spirituality of the meetings. There are less clicks and there is more excitement about activities. And everyone becomes friends. Sis Koyle and I have been trying to meet as many members as possible and invite new people out with us each day. We're trying to make FHE a big deal and get lots of people to come. Little by little, the ward is transforming! It's so exciting! 

Sis Koyle was sick on Saturday and a member texted and asked if she needed anything. She said she would love a can of tomato soup. We got a knock on the door and our member was standing there with a week's worth of groceries... and LOTS of tomato soup. It was the sweetest thing ever! We stacked it all up and took a picture of it :) 

Love you all, 
Sister Browning 

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