Monday, November 18, 2013

An invitation from President Tew...dated 10/21/13

I forgot to tell you last Monday but I've been asked to teach at zone conference...
Okay, so a week ago Saturday (10/12/13) President Tew called during companionship study. I answered it, "Hello, this is Sister Brown." He asked me how I was doing and then if he could ask me a favor. I thought he was going to ask me if I could come into the office to help him with something... NOPE. He says "The assistants and I have come up with an idea for Zone Conference and we wonder if you could help us out with it...." Alarm bells! He goes on to tell me how they want to have a demonstration featuring the best teachers in the mission but it's not the typical two missionaries practice teach on an "investigator". We are going to do a live teaching experience. We are going to have real investigators that have been investigating the church for a while come in. They have agreed to let you teach them in front of 70 other missionaries".
Elder Tewksbury told me that someone brought my name up and they all paused... and then agreed at the same time.
I am really nervous. I am still not used to the fact I can't recognize the spirit so I don't know if I can be as good as they think I am.
I am not teaching with my companions either... They said they picked who they wanted and then paired them up. The sister I will be teaching with is Sister Wasden. We have been given permission to go on exchanges together so that we can learn each others teaching styles.
She is in Los Alamitos which is only like 20 minutes away and zone conference is on November 9. Elder Pollard and I are the only ones that were asked to do it that haven't been out longer than 9 months.
I got a blessing yesterday where Heavenly Father told me he was proud of me so that was nice of Him!
We are going to sports today for P-day activity and I don't think I am going to play so I'll write ya a letter then. 
We got six member referrals this week and we get to hang out at the institute all the time! I really love this area! I am trying to think of what else happened this week... we have to spend a lot of time in the car because we can't do a lot of tracting because we cover an entire stake. I am not complaining because my ankle is getting a break, but sometimes it feels like we are getting nothing done. But as long as the ward continues to refer people, we won't feel like that for long.
I think I felt the spirit last night so that was really good! Yesterday day was really rough and I'm not sure why.... sometimes I just want to curl up in a ball. But the conferences were good. I went to two, I went and watched Sister Luft and Sister Andelin teach Sherry, and Elder Walker and Elder Blodsoe teach a guy named Moose. They both did an awesome job! I learned that we are allowed to go meet and talk to the people we are teaching before the conference so I think Sister Wasden and I will go do that, and it will be better then I have been thinking.
The temple was so good...
Love, Sister Brown

Meeting the new missionaries at the airport...dated 10/14/13

How are you family?
I hope you are all doing well. As for me, I have been busy...
So last Monday night we went over to pick Sister Luft up from the mission home (we had her companion while she was at her funeral dinner) and while we were there Sister Tew started making comments about how she wished that there could be sisters at the airport along with the assistants to welcome the new missionaries... we all got talking about who could possibly go and Sister Tew turned and said to me, “You’ll already be at the office and you are such a great greeter... will you come with us?" I said "okay" And secretly inside I was jumping for joy because I love seeing the poor new missionaries walk off the plane like the walking dead. Ha!
So I went with them to the airport and everything was so disorganized. The APs got there first and Sister Tew and I got there seconds after them. We were all late because of traffic so when we got to the place where we were to meet the new arriving missionaries,  the plane had already landed. The elders were waiting for us (President was still not there lol). The elders went with the APs to get the luggage and Sister Tew and I waited for the sisters to come out. The Elders were arguing with me trying to convince me that the sisters had already come. I kept trying to assure them that they just got off of a 2 hour plane ride and they all needed to go to the bathroom, and girls take longer than guys... they didn't believe me. But guess who was right?
I loved seeing Sister Tew's reaction when we saw them coming. She was SOOOO excited! We welcomed them to the Great California Long Beach Mission and gave them big hugs! They looked a lot better then I imagine myself looking in that moment 4 1/2 months ago... 
So we get their luggage and walk down to the loading dock, and while we are waiting Sister Oler (one of the new missionaries straight from the MTC) starts talking to a lady named Christine. She is doing an awesome job by herself but I could tell that she didn't really know how to bring the Gospel up so I went and helped her out. I told her how we were missionaries and she told us how she has relatives that are Mormon (let me remind you that I had the Presidents wife and the President observing my contacting skills... stress!) We talked a little bit more but then our van pulled up and we had to start loading luggage, so we ended the contact and went on loading. After our luggage was loaded and on its way back to the mission office we started walking to the parking garage and I mention to Sister Tew that I wish I had a Pass-a-Long Card to give to that lady (I left my bag in the car) and Sister Tew stops in her tracks searches through her purse and immediately starts to run in the direction of this lady. She is so awesome!
So we get to the parking garage and all the new sisters, Sister and President Tew, and I file into the elevator and just when the door is about the close a little old couple named John and Maria ask us to hold the door... We hold it for them and welcome them in with big smiles and happy hellos. We start talking and it turns into another contact but now I was in the spotlight (not the same spotlight I like to be in....) and I have all these new baby missionaries watching me along with President and Sister Tew... Even more stress! I made the little couple laugh though and I invited them to stop by the church building in Fountain Valley. I walked away feeling good! 
So then we get back to the church and feed the new missionaries breakfast while President Tew is figuring out their temporary companions, then off they go!
While we were waiting for the vista waiters and Spanish speakers to get in (they all came in at different times which never happens and is super annoying) my new companions and I loaded all of my stuff into the car. We then went and chopped up fruit and got lunch ready. Sister Fulgham and Mickelson would have rather been out doing missionary work but we are white washing (which means none of us have been in the area before) and the elders we share the ward with are the APs, so they were busy and couldn't give us any information about anything until 6:30 pm..., so my companions helped me get lunch ready and then we went to our apartment and cleaned (It was the most disgusting thing ever. I swear to you the elders that lived there before never cleaned ever, not once.) I had to clean the bathroom and I wanted to shoot myself in the face. Later that night we went to meet the APs at the office but they were an hour late so we just sat outside and got to know each other. When the elders finally showed up we were able to learn about our area and that was fun. They gave us a bunch of potentials and tips on how to work the area.
So the thing about the El Dorado ward is that it covers two stakes the LBE and the Cerritos Stakes. We are over the entire Cerritos Stake boundaries which to every other mission is small, but to this mission... its super huge! The elders have always just focused on the LBE side so Cerritos has really been neglected.
The area is awesome though! I love the ward. I would be okay serving here for the rest of my mission!
XOXOXOX, Sister Brown

The day before transfers....dated 10/7/13

Hello family,
How are you? Well this is what has been going on in my world...
After we moved from Betty's home we were living in an apartment with 5 girls and one shower. That was not easy!! Then we moved into our apartment on Thursday but the gas and hot water weren't turned on until this morning. We had to take cold showers. Thank Heavens that's over.  On Friday a bunch of Elders told us that Sister missionaries are basically worthless, so that was really hard. Most of our appointments fell through this has been rough. I have been proud of myself though, I have tried hard not to let it all get me down.
I'm being transferred and Sister Bauer is staying in the Woodruff ward for her 5th transfer. I will be in a trio... with two sister training leaders. I am a little nervous about being in a trio and about transfers in general, but transfers are life.  The only up side is that we are the first sisters to be in the El Dorado singles ward :) I'm super excited about that!! I am excited to be in a singles ward. Sister Bauer is happy to be staying in the ward. 
So, transfers are tomorrow morning, and then I am working in the office. Sister Tew needs my help. I am basically the SAPW - Sister Assistant to the Presidents Wife. I made it up :) 
This is how tomorrow will go...Sister Bauer will take me to the office where I will stay with her new companion’s old companion while we wait for our new companions to come. Then I will go with Sister Fulgum to get Sister Mickleson and we will go drop off our stuff at our new apartment (Elder Walker, one of the APs, was being a butt and wouldn't tell us where we were living and they left it off of transfer facts so we thought we were homeless until about 2 hours ago), and then they will take me back to the office where I will greet the new missionaries! 

Okay so that is Elder Cox he is one of my Zone Leaders... he is Uncle Brendon's doppelganger. I mean seriously they are the same person. 

Sometimes we take side walk chalk and draw things pertaining to the Gospel. While we do this, we talk to people about what we are drawing! It's pretty fun. We drew the Plan of Salvation while biking through Hartwell Park! - Yeah! It's a way to take the stress out of walking up to someone because, most the time, they will walk up to you and ask you what you are doing.

Bahahaha...aren't the pictures of the public restroom funny! I am not embarrassed that I use the facilities with no privacy. There was a nice breeze blowing...hahaha. The stalls are short with no doors to prevent rape and other crimes.

I gotta go. I'm gunna go provide some humor mom misses to everyone at sports while I try to play some basketball.
 I love you mucho grande!