missionary plaque picture

missionary plaque picture

Monday, October 26, 2015

D&C 18:10

"Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God." My
ponderizing scripture for the week!

Hi Family that I love,

Congrats to Ryan for becoming a brown belt! That takes hard work! Way
to go bud :)

So I don't think I realized just how big the pool house was going to
be... The pictures make it look HUGE! If it's up and running when I
get home, can we swim with the lights off? Cause my tan lines might
blind people.... Hahaha just kidding ;)

What is everyone dressing up as for Halloween?? We can't dress up...
But at a ward trunk or treat we met another little sister missionary!
How cute right?? She got it right down to the cardigan and the no-show socks. 
Mom, I just want to say that you were so inspired to tell me to study grace. The timing couldn't have been better. On Tuesday, I pondered grace and read 2 Ne 2:9. On Wednesday, I helped a young missionary through her first stress breakdown of her mission. On Thursday, an active family informed us that they would no longer be attending church because of some doctrinal discrepancies they thought they found. On Friday, our newly-reactivated soon-to-be priesthood holder told us that he found anti and no longer believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. That same night, I also found out that Nate and Jori have decided that they don't believe in the Book of Mormon anymore and are totally done with the Mormon church. 

I finally found myself asking, "Where is grace in all of these situations?" Grace has helped me still feel ok. I was able to empathize and know what to say to that struggling sister missionary because of grace. Grace is in the fact that the stories of these friends of mine aren't over. I know that through the grace of Christ they can find renewed faith as soon as they want it. I have felt my own faith strengthen in circumstances which, if not for the reality of Christ's grace, would have hurt my testimony. This week I've felt lonely but not alone, sad but not without comfort, and disappointed but not without hope. I remember during one heartbreaking lesson silently praying and thanking Heavenly Father for allowing me to have experiences that are slowly solidifying my conversion to Christ and His restored gospel. 

I know that He lives. I know that we experience happiness and peace because He lives. Every good thing we have is a gift from Him, and "there must needs be an opposition in all things" because a loving Heavenly Father wants us to know what joy feels like. We live in a fallen world but I really believe God's got this. As Sister Porter would say, "you can get glad in the same pants you got mad in!" It will all work out and God's team has been the winning team all along! 

I love you all soooo much. Have a happy Halloween and a great week! 

Sister Megan Browning

Monday, October 19, 2015

"If you really want to get God talking, ask Him about His kids."

Dear Family, 

Grace is the best!! Thanks for reminding me to read that BD section! That one and the section on Prayer are my favorites. A quote on grace by Brad Wilcox: "Christ doesn't make up the difference... Christ makes all the difference."

So yes, grace. Grace and vitamins. Those are what I must rely on. ;) (thanks for sending those, Mom, I used up everything I had in my last area so I can't wait to get your package.)

This week was great! We had a few exchanges and tons of lessons and lots of little miracles! 

I had Sister Lee with me in the area for the day, and that was the funniest exchange I have ever been on. She is 33, from South Korea, learning English and has been in the field for 9 weeks. We saw all kinds of miracles, like meeting a woman who was part Korean (she was black and it was dark outside... never would have guessed) who had literally just made Korean food and was looking for a church/baptism. Whoa!! What are the odds! I've never seen a happier missionary than Sister Lee in that moment. Haha 

We also met a woman named Brenda who's just amazing. Trying to meet some more members, we knocked on a door where we knew two YSA-aged kids lived, and their mom Brenda answered. Her children have both taken missionary lessons on their own and joined the church but she has never sat down and talked with the missionaries. But she is the most Christlike person I have ever met and loves God so much. She's been through every trial you can think of found Christ because of it and has built a beautiful life for her kids. She told us, "If you really want to get God talking, ask him about His kids. He's the proudest parent in the universe." Sometimes she'll look at a person and ask God, "tell me about that person." And she gets a little glimpse of them through God's eyes. Then the Spirit will tell her, "now go tell them that." And that's how she gets to help people see their potential. What a gift! She told us that she used to be afraid of the Mormon missionaries but that now she's open to listen. We promised her that that same Spirit she is so attuned to will testify to her the truth of our message if she opens her heart, reads, and prays. Can't wait to see what happens! 

Funny quote of the week: While standing on a doorstep, the member who was out with us looked at me and goes, "You know, even though you're... dying slowly... I appreciate that you're still willing to work."

Thank you? Hahaha 

My ponderize scripture is 2nd Nephi 7:11. "Behold all ye that kindle fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks, walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks which ye have kindled." I'm really not sure what it means, but I read it this morning and thought it sounded cool. Like... As you help others light the fire of their testimonies, keep yours burning bright by living what you believe. It's Isaiah, so... It could mean anything... Any thoughts? 

Tell Becca Parkes I said congratulations on her homecoming! She has kept in contact with me my whole mission and I just admire her so much for the way she served and the person she's become. And please tell Cheryl Porter that I love her. How fun that you got to spend some good time with her. :)  

Love you to infinity and beyond! Hurrah for Israel! 
Sister Megan Browning

Our ward mission leader and his wife are two of the best human beings this side of the Rockies. At dinner we learned that Bro Ackerman has a drag racing Oldsmobile which he let us sit in and pretend to drive. It's the best we could do! ;) 

Vroom vroom! 

Monday, October 12, 2015

"The future of your faith is not by chance, but by choice."

Dear Family,

My new ponderizing scripture is Matt 6:3-4 if you're curious :) thanks
for sharing yours!

I got a sweet package from the Houghtons today and I'll be writing a
letter back soon! Please tell them I said thank you for thinking of me

Glenn's baptism on Saturday was wonderful! Something cool- there were
back to back baptisms at the stake center all afternoon. On the hour,
every hour. These missionaries are working so hard and seeing so many

miracles! It's just a blessing to be serving around them!

Glenn just has the purest heart. He will make a wonderful member of the church! You go Glenn coco! 

Sorry if my letter's a little short this week- I am going to go use my Pday time to nap. This is the most exhausted I think I have ever been. This week we had so many appointments that we had to work through lunch most days and dinner a couple times. It's constant go, go, go!

 On Thursday I got to go on exchanges with sister Koyle, and the night after exchanges sister Porter and I realized we didn't make any time to plan our trainings for the zone meeting the next day. I knew I was supposed to train on having effective studies but I didn't know how my tired brain was going to come up with anything good. I knelt down in my bathroom, exhausted, and prayed for Heavenly Father to help me plan this training because I knew I couldn't do it on my own. As soon as I opened my scriptures, the revelation came: Miracles. I was supposed to train on miracles, and how we prepare for miracles by studying for our investigators. It turned out to be pretty good. I know it would have been nothing on my own. It was a great lesson on doing everything through Christ! 

This week I've been thinking a lot about the power of faith and really loved reading Neil L. Anderson's talk from the priesthood session. Our faith really is always either increasing or decreasing. I've asked myself the question he asks, "how does the Savior see my faith?" It's a humbling question and there's so much room for improvement! I'm going to keep striving for the great faith that's in the scriptures and invite you all to do the same :) 

I love each of you and I'm praying for you by name! 

Sister Megan Browning

Monday, October 5, 2015

Why have I not learned Spanish?!

Whitney Ranch friends (from Megan's former area)

My Bestest Hafen family. I would take all the kids home with me if I could.

The Turleys! Minus bro Turley :( they told me to come back and ride their motorcycles after my mission. Bucket list!!

Nate and Jori. And baby Drew :)  We had an amazing last lesson together and they're in good hands :) I miss them!
Hi family that I love so much!

Wasn't conference amazing?? I was going to ask if you were all "ponderizing" but you beat me to it! Those are awesome scriptures. Mine for the week is one that President Monson mentioned, Matthew
5:16. "let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in heaven." Siblings, what are your ponderizing scriptures?? The theme of conference for me was choosing to live so that the Spirit can be with you. It seemed like they really wanted us to up our game on seeking the Holy Ghost. At least that's what I took from it. :) I love President Monson so much and am so excited about the 3 new apostles. I know they're called of God!

And did you hear all the conversion stories that the speakers shared about themselves?? SO COOL!

The young man in Elder Holland's talk is actually a good friend of mine from my first area Robindale. We'd kept in touch once he left for BYUI and I'd heard from Sister Luke that he went back out to finish his mission. I recognized the story immediately because of the time he
told us the whole thing in great detail over a lunch of peanut butter sandwiches in his home. He told us, "I tell you this story with two requirements: you don't feel sad for me, and you share it with  
you think it will help." It made me cry to see his story reach and help millions of people all over the world. I think that's exactly what he wants. :) His amazing mom does deserve every bit of praise
Elder Holland gave her.

This last week feels like 6 in one. Short of riding a rollercoaster, whitewashing an area is the most exciting, exhilarating, crazy thing! I love it so much! Sister Porter is from Idaho as well! She has been out for 6 months and is a new STL with me. She's 23, a trained therapist, and engaged to be married when she gets home. And basically just one of the best missionaries I know. Her and I have very similar personalities- she's like a more loving, graceful and wise version of me. Haha :) we work really well together and are having so much fun.

For example.... When we moved into our apartment, there was all kinds of fun leftovers from previous sisters (I now have a new wardrobe) and this was the first thing I found:

"Ooh. Ahh. That's it, I'm not going." --the Grinch

Then Sister Porter tried it. Ooo la la! 

Because of conference weekend we still haven't met a lot of the members, but the ones we have met have been very supportive. Very humble, awesome, salt-of-the-earth people. We're going to be working with them to improve relationships a lot. Work was happening before we got here but it seems like the area was ready for a change of pace. 

So let me explain "east Las Vegas." Our area covers from Nellis to Treeline and from Vegas Valley to Charleston, if you have a map. When I was in Temple View YSA this area was just a small postage stamp in a much bigger area that took in Sunrise, Central, and East Las Vegas stakes. I haven't been in this zone before, temple view is considered sunrise stake, but I do know a couple of the members that have YSA age children at home. It's pretty ghetto in some places and full of TONS OF PEOPLE. Basically my dream area. I've used more Spanish here than ever and just wish I would have taken that darn class in high school or BYU! It would really be coming in handy right now! 

We're teaching an older man named Glenn who finished reading the Book of Mormon this week! He also came to all the sessions of conference! He is so ready for baptism. The stake president (whose home I skyped from last Mother's Day) was at the stake center with us for each session- he told all the missionaries that he felt a prompting that there was someone who needed us and he would accompany anyone to a lesson between or after sessions. So we introduced him to Glenn and were able to have a great lesson with him in President Timothy's office about repentance. It meant a lot that, with all the demands on his time, and I'm sure just wanting to be with family, he made a little time for some missionaries and their investigators. :) 

I love my area, my companion, I love the feeling of hitting the ground running and learning fast, I love all the opportunities ahead... I just love my mission and I'm going to squeeze every last drop of goodness out of it that I can! I'm more exhausted than ever and happier than ever. This is the joy that comes in little bursts whenever we share the gospel and can permeate our lives as we live it. The speakers in conference each testified of this joy and I want to spend the rest of my life seeking it and spreading it. Life's too short not to be happy and grateful! I love you and hope you have a wonderful week! 

Sister Megan Browning