First things first... HAPPY BIRTHDAY AUBREE!! The big 1-4, woop woop!!
I hope there's a stake dance coming up! There is a letter on its way
for you :) and happy birthday to Lauren this week!!
I'm so grateful for this mission. It's growing and stretching me so
much. We talked to a lot of people this week that were pretty closed
off... ok, some of them were pretty hostile. We met with Alan, the guy
I texted, and gave him a tour of the church. He had listened to the
Book of Mormon on a podcast (not put out by the church), and
definitely hadn't listened with real intent. He and several other
people we met this week bad-mouthed a lot of the truths I hold dear. I
think the farther I get into my mission, the more it hurts when I
testify of the things I know are true and people don't have an open
heart to understand. I'm really grateful for these experiences though,
because they show me just how much my testimony has deepened in the
last year. It also teaches me a lot about the enabling power of the
Atonement. When I'm able to stand in the driveway of a 50-year-old man
who is trying to, in a very Korihor-like way catch me in my words, and
somehow say the right thing for the circumstance and walk away, I know
I have Christ and His power helping me to do something I couldn't do
on my own.
Saturday was THE BEST day EVER for three reasons which are in these
1: Mini missionaries! 5 stakes in the surrounding areas participated
in a big youth conference and every set of missionaries got 1 or 2
laurels/priests to work with them for the day. We had Awilda and
Jordan, the two cutest girls on the face of the planet. We did splits
with them and Awilda had to leave halfway through the day, but Jordan
got to come to Sharonda's baptism and our evening appointments with
us. Fun Stuff!
2: Sharonda's baptism!! This woman is so amazing. The next day in church she was confirmed and then she got her temple recommend after the meetings were over. She had us over for dinner this week and I found myself inviting her to come spend new year's with us. Do we have any plans for new year's, mom? :) I want her to meet you guys so bad! She also told me that I feel like a daughter to her, and if she had a son, she would want him to marry me. Wow. Biggest compliment ever. She'd be the perfect mother in law, but I'll just keep her as a forever friend!
Sharonda's sister came to the baptism and is really interested in learning more! We gave her a book of mormon and the ward mission leader practically taught her the whole restoration right there. We're going to meet with her this friday to teach her more! Hooray!
3: Patrick's baptism! Right after Sharonda's baptism I got picked up by a member and got to go back to Temple View. Before I left temple view, I gave Sister Koyle the instructions, "don't give up on Patrick!" She didn't, and neither did Heavenly Father, and he's finally gained the testimony that he struggled so long for. It was an awesome awesome day.
Dad, there's a sister serving somewhere in Rigby whose family just moved to Whitney Ranch. Her name is Sister Emily Rawlins? Have you met her? If you see her, tell her I said hi and keep up the great work and that her family's doing well :)
I love you all! Thanks for all the emails and letters this week!
Love, Sister Browning