Sunday, June 16, 2013

Letter to her dad - dated 6/7/13 - 6/10/13...


     Thanks for the letter. I was excited to see a handwritten letter!!
     At 2 p.m. on Tuesday we were waiting around while the mission president was receiving revelation on who should be our trainers. It was kind of funny because when the other missionaries got to the church, we were separated. It was them...and us. A few crossed the line but quickly returned to their own kind.

     When we found out who our trainer were it was around 3 p.m. We had to line up, trainers on one side and greenies on the other. Then, they called the trainer's name and who they were training. We would step forward when our name was called and meet our new companion (i.e. Sister B is training...Sister Brown).

     I was called first. I kind of knew it was coming. Sister B has only been out six weeks, so she hasn't even finished her 12 week training period. After I met her, we grabbed my luggage, bedding, and bike and we came to the members house were we live, and started planning and learning about the area book and all that stuff. (I still haven't unpacked. I probably won't ever). We live with an elderly member of the church. It's a really cute place. She is 90 something and she has dementia (she reminds me of Grandma Donna). 
     My first appointment was with a little lady who is mentally challenged. She has the mind of a 7 year old. She loves the Book of Mormon so we read it with her twice a week. We then went to a members house who is really good at giving referrals. He used to be a mission president. I gave the spiritual thought and shared my favorite scripture, Isaiah 49: 15 - 16. After that we went and knocked on one of his referrals' door. The old man came to the door and said, "We are Buddhist", and shut the door... 
     Then we went to visit a part/less active family. That was nice. By the end of that it was 9:00 and time to go home. We planned for the next day until 9:30 and then we got ready for bed.
     I had my Mission President Interview the next morning and I told him how homesick I was. He really helped me a lot. He gave me a blessing. He is definitely a man of God.
     We don't have any investigators right now and the ward is really unenthusiastic about missionary work. The streets are always empty so it is hard to contact that way. 
     We had Zone Meeting this morning (6/7/13) and it was good. I got to meet more missionaries and the social interaction was nice. After Zone Meeting we had weekly planning. It got me excited to do real missionary work. I did talk to a guy named Scott who is hopeless, kind of. He used to be taught by the sister missionaries but they handed him over to the elders because he wasn't taking the sisters seriously (I don't think he takes any of this seriously). I did talk to him about a little bit about prayer and it was exciting. 
     Sister B and I have spent a lot of time getting to know each other. She is really nice and understanding. I've been able to show a little bit more of my personality. I don't know why that's been so hard for me...?  My companion knows my good friend from USU.
     Well I made it to Sunday, again (6/9/13). I've heard that it flies by once you make it through the first week. This was the slowest week of my whole life. It seems like years ago that I was at the airport talking on the phone to you, but it was only one week.
     I love you so much! Thank you for being my daddy!

Love your missionary #1

Friday, June 14, 2013

Letter from Delci's mission president - dated June 7, 2013...

June 7, 2013

Dear Brother and Sister Brown,

     It was a pleasure for Sister Bubert and me to welcome your daughter, Sister Brown, to the California Long Beach Mission.  She arrived on the 4th of June from the Missionary Training Center, bringing with her an enthusiasm that uplifts the entire mission.  We welcomed your daughter with lunch at the Mission Office, followed by an orientation session.  She was then assigned to her new companion/trainer.  By 6:00 p.m. they, as a new companionship, were proselyting.

     Our greatest desire is that your daughter will have a successful and spiritual mission, one that will be a blessing eternally.  Your encouragement, your prayers, and communication with her are essential.  It greatly strengthens your missionary when she receives encouragement from home.  The means of communication will be by letters or e-mail.  The missionaries love letters and packages.  E-mail communication can be used only on P-days.

     We are in close contact with your daughter and the zone leaders over her.  If you ever have a need for urgent communication with her beyond your weekly exchange of letters or e-mail, please call Sister Bubert or myself.

Very truly yours,

President Bubert
California Long Beach Mission

Monday, June 10, 2013

Pictures from the MTC

This is two districts together. They were all  called to the California  Long Beach Mission and they all traveled to CA together last Tuesday. I bet that was a sight to behold. I would have felt really safe with 24 missionaries on a plane I was traveling on.  Delci said they really got to know each other well during their stay in the MTC. Her companion was the brunette in the blue shirt to her right. She says they both look tired because they were running in gym just before this picture was taken...this makes me laugh because I know how much Delci hates physical exertion. 

This is Delci with Tesha Olney from our ward. Tesha is now serving  in North Dakota. Delci said there were quite a few missionaries she knew in the MTC. She said it was great to see familiar faces.

Friday, June 7, 2013

6/5/13 - A Call from Sister Bubert...

I was writing Delci a short email on Wednesday...OK I intended to write a short one to ask her favorite scripture for her mission plaque, but I ended up telling her all about what had happened since I wrote last. I figured there was no sense wasting all that cyberspace for just one question. Am I right? Anyway I was in the middle of writing her this email when my cell phone rang. I didn't recognize the number which is usually a clear sign the call should be ignored. I let it ring-twice-then the curiosity caused me to go against all that is good and natural and I answered the phone. 

It was Delci's mission Mom, Sister Bubert! She said she usually tried to call the parents of her new missionaries the day they arrive, but this was such a big group she couldn't get to all of them. So she apologized for being a day late. No apology necessary! She told me Delci had arrived safely and didn't stop smiling the whole day. Delci has been assigned to serve in the area where the mission office is. Delci's trainer has only been out for 6 weeks! Sister Bubert  has relatives in Grantsville and is friends with our next door neighbor Marty Anderson. He told her that Delci was coming when she got the call, and Marty told Delci how excited President and Sister Bubert were to have her coming. It was neat for Delci to have a Grantville connection and to hear they were excited for her to get there. The Buberts are finishing their mission in July but Sister Bubert told me she was excited to have Delci assigned close to the office because that may mean they would see her more often. 

6/4/13 - The Airport Phone Call...

Delci had to meet at the MTC travel office at 5:00 on the morning of the 4th of June. Her district traveled from Provo to the Salt Lake International Airport and she was able to call us after she checked her bags and  went through security. It was about 7:30 am when she called. She sounded great, but she was a little emotional. She said she only had a few minutes to talk because there was a whole line of missionaries behind her waiting to call home.
She said that her time in the MTC was a get experience, and told Jansen (her brother who is leaving for the MTC in July) to obey the rules with strict obedience so he will have a great experience also.
She shared her testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel with us and she asked us to write to and email her often. Then she had to go. 
We are so glad she was able to call. It was good to hear her voice. It will be a long time until we hear it again. 
We are so proud of her!

Delci left this behind (Utah State University)...

...So she can serve as a missionary here!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Letter dated 5/31/13...

Dear Family,

     We just did a picture walk in the main building. We said a personal prayer before we went over and I asked Heavenly Father to help me with my struggles.
     As I walked through and looked at the paintings of Christ, I stopped and looked very closely at each one, and I tried to feel the things the Lord was trying to tell me. I got to one painting and really just concentrated on His face. I stood there for a really long time trying to understand the feelings I was feeling. I realized I recognized Him, and not because of the pictures, but because I know Him. I've lived with Him, I laughed with Him, I cried with Him, and I rejoiced with and thanked Him when He offered Himself up so that I could return and enjoy laughter, tears, and rejoicing once more. I cannot wait for that day when my Savior and Heavenly Father welcome me home.
     I know Him. He knows me. I know this to be true.

     I love you all.

Letter dated 5/25 - 5/29/13 - The first week...

Dear Family,
     Thank you for the letters. I've been the one everyone envy's when it comes to letters. I've gotten one every day (sorry not sorry). Please keep them coming. :)
     I'll tell you a little more about companion. She is awesome. We work really well together. We have started teaching "Barbette". She is an imaginary investigator based on someone our teacher (she is a gem) taught on her mission. It is really our teacher we are teaching and she is playing the part of Barbette, so we can practice. It is amazing how even though our teacher is the one sitting in front us, the spirit has made it possible for us to love Barbette and teach her things she needs to hear. Yesterday was our first discussion with her. We were given a bit of background on her and from that we were asked to plan and prepare a lesson we felt she needed to hear. We felt a prompting that we needed to teach her about the atonement and that she has a loving Heavenly Father. When we knocked on Barbette's door and began talking with her, we realized the lesson we had planned was exactly what she needed to hear. We invited her to be baptized. She didn't give us a clear yes or no, but she did agree to pray with us and it was AMAZING. I have never felt the spirit like that. Our teacher then talked to us about how we felt and gave us advice. She said she had never had a companionship bring the spirit so strongly. She has been using Barbette for over a year and we were the first  missionaries to get her to say the prayer. It was awesome, but we let us get to our heads and we weren't humble. We didn't give the spirit any credit, so the next time we taught her the spirit was there but definitely not as strong and I am not sure if she'll follow through with the invitations we extended to her. We'll see on Monday.
     I made it to Sunday...are you proud of me? My companion and I have to wake up at the same time so that means I am waking up at 5:45 every morning. It's rough!
     Gym time is also rough! My companion likes to run, I don't! Guess who wins?
     Sacrament meeting starts at 7:30 am (kill me!), breakfast @ 8:30, Music and the spoken word @ 9:30, Relief Society @ 10:00.
     For Sundays we are all asked  to write a talk on an assigned topic. This week was the Holy Ghost. Next week, even though it's Fast Sunday, we are asked to write on "enduring to the end". We didn't know who they would be asked to speak until we got to the meeting. Lucky it wasn't me!!
    The MTC Relief Society Presidency spoke to us about Joseph Smith. Their messages were so powerful!
     Yesterday, 5/27, was rough. It seemed like our whole district was lacking in the spirit department and at the end of our day we had an impromptu "come to Jesus".
Remember how I told you Barbette's second lesson was not awesome? Well, her third was worse. It was everywhere and I'm not sure why we have been struggling with the spirit when it was so strong to begin with...I've been praying for help. I hope it comes  soon.
     I became senior companion last night (it is Wednesday, 5/29). I feel confident that I can lead this companionship, but I am nervous because I don't know the scriptures as well as I could...
     It is Wednesday morning, guess what that means...NEW MISSIONARIES COME TODAY!!! That means Sister Jacobs will be here soon!!! Yippy Skippy! It also means we get BYU creamery at dinner (I don't eat it, no way. Aggie ice cream all the way!!!)
     Thank you again for the letters! Yesterday night I got four and after the long weekend of no mail it was nice to know I am not forgotten. I'm such a lucky girl.
     I love you so much! I hope this letter finds you all well. Love Delci

Letter dated 5/22/13 - The first day...

Dear family,
I made it through the first day. My companion is from Charlotte, North Carolina. I love her already. We laugh a lot.
This was my day:
I left you :(
I got my tag, card, room key, ya know...all that.
Went to the room...claimed the bottom bunk, went to the classroom, met my district.
Everyone in my district is going to Long Beach, so that is cool!
Had to learn about gym time...absolutely NO jogging dates!
We then went to a MTC Presidency welcome meeting...we sang like 7 opening songs. Then we went to dinner and I was able to eat, which was a nice surprise.
--Chicken fried steak, potatoes, veggies, salad.
--BYU ice cream if we wanted, but NO THANKS!
Then we got to go to our dorm, but my companion and I got lost, so when we finally found it we only had enough time to make our beds --we didn't get to relax at all.
After that we went to teaching experience. The teacher asked us to be missionaries and we were to teach a lady named Lahuana. I made my companion do all the talking :D
We met our Zone Leaders and learned more rules.
I keep having phantom phone's like I've lost a limb!
I saw Brett (her cousin who went in the MTC on the same day) today at dinner and I called him Brett...I forgot it's Elder Brown, whoops!
I have seen a lot missionaries in here from Grantsville, Tooele, and USU. 
Thank you for all you've taught me & raised me to be. I miss and love you!
--Sister Brown

P.S. We had an orange dot on our tags today, which meant that every where we went EVERYONE said something to us. It was too glad I get to take it off tomorrow.

I leave June 4th.  I love you!

MTC - The First Day

If you can believe this, we were still shopping for Delci on the way to the MTC (if you have ever been shopping with Delci, this will not surprise you). She had to find the perfect bag. Thankfully a coworker told me to look at Ross, and sure enough, the perfect bag was there. Thank Heavens!
We ate lunch at Delci favorite place...Chick-Fil-A (she loves the lemonade and Chick-Fil-A sauce), although she couldn't eat very much of her lunch because she was too nervous. 
We stopped at a grassy area to say goodbye to Delci and her cousin Brett Brown before dropping them off at the MTC. These pictures were taken there. 
Delci with her cousin Brett Brown

l to r: LaDell Brown (Grandpa), Brett Brown (cousin), Delci, Eleanor Brown (Grandma).

l to r: Jansen, Brett, Sam, Dev, Luke, Delci, Emma, Dixie, AJ, Donna 

Delci with the next missionary, her brother Jansen.

All that I have heard about the MTC drop-off was true. There was no time for goodbyes...thankfully we knew this and had time before.

We drove into the MTC and an elderly missionary put a blue piece of tape on our windshield and told us to follow the line at the curb. We pulled to the curb and got out. A young Elder came up to me, shook my hand, and said, "You must be mom." He was very friendly and  he told me his name and were he is from while he was walking with me around to the back of our suburban, to get Delci's suitcases. Delci had gotten out on the other side.  When this Elder saw Delci he stopped dead and got a look of panic on his face. He said, "It's a sister!" in an alarmed voice and then he turned to the line of sister missionaries waiting to help new arriving missionaries, and shouted, "I need a sister over here, hurry!" He was still talking in the voice of alarm. Apparently the blue tape on the windshield meant there was new arriving Elder inside the vehicle and another color meant a sister on board. The welcoming Elder had put the wrong color on our windshield which lead to this poor Elder's panicked state. I thought it was pretty funny!
Provo Mission Training Center

This is at the entrance to the MTC