Sunday, December 16, 2012

It's already been a week?!?!

Hola Familia,

It's hard to believe it has been a week already. At the same time it's hard to believe that it has only been one week. I guess I should mention that I actually won't be calling home this Christmas because there is no way the MTC could possibly provide enough phones for all of us. Sorry :( I was looking forward to calling but its ok.

Sunday was absolutely AMAZING!!!! as RS coordinating sister i have more responsibilities. I had 3 meetings before Rs at 9 and then 2 other after sacrament meeting. I am excited to be serving! I guess the best way to explain what a RS coordinating sister is that I am the RS president for my ward/branch. This means that i keep tabs on all the sisters and let the branch president know how they are doing and if they need anything. i have only sent him one letter reporting and he said that it was really good, hopefully i can surpass myself and do better next time. For Rs we had Sister Reeves of the general RS presidency come and speak. She was amazing! She reminded us to keep a sense of humor so that we can laugh at ourselves. which after a humbling experience on Tuesday i can really see why it is important. She also pointed out that everyone that is here on earth has excepted the Gospel, they just forgot. Their spirits desire to come back. Sacrament meeting was really neat too. We are asked to prepare a 3-5 min talk each week (in Spanish) to give it president Bowen invites us up. This will be the first week that he can call on us to speak. I haven't written my talk yet but it is supposed to be on Faith in Christ. I have a feeling that I am going to be asked to get up... I'll let you know. Later that night we had a fireside where the byu men's choirs came and sang. I absolutely loved it!! The music was so neat! After that we watched a devotional given by Elder Bednar about the Character of Christ. It was life changing! Basically it was about how when we focus on becoming like Christ, we become converted.

Our investigator's name is Rebeca. She is 22, from Mexico, and believes in God but doesn't see the need for Christ in her life. Even though she is a teacher and she already knows the truth and what we are going to be teaching her I was amazed by how real it was for me. i truly loved her and wanted her to accept what we were teaching her. She did commit to baptism and said she would come to Church with us this weekend but we actually aren't going to be teaching her any more. She is going to be our teacher!!! Our other teachers name is Hermano Brown (which can be kinda confusing for me because there isn't that much difference between hermano and hermana).

Tuesday i was very humbled because we prepared one lesson and she ended up taking the lesson somewhere totally different. Basically i realized that I can't expect to go in without studying the vocab. I could have answered if it was English but because it was in spanish I couldn't. I wish that I could better express to her my love for her and my knowledge that we are children of God and that He loves us.

I suggested to my companions that we start each lesson with a song. It was amazing how that song (I am a Child of God and Families can be together forever) brought the spirit! It made me feel better too!

I shared with Rebeca what I knew and I was able to do it in spanish!

If you ever, ever have questions, doubts, or problems (Si usted jamas, jamas tiene preguntas, dudas, or problemas, Yo se que Dio esta alli, El le conoce, Y El le ama!!)
I know that God is there!
He knows you
and He loves you!

she was really touched. I hope that this knowledge is something that you are able to learn from and come to rely on as well!

Sorry about not having pictures to add. I really did try. I guess I have to have a disc reader like the black one at home to add pictures I am going to check at the book store and if they don't have one can you send that one to me?
Also, Dear Elder letters are awesome! I can get those everyday and have them to read and then I can have more to say in this weekly email.( Get on to write letters to Karee. They are printed off and put in her mailbox the next day.It is like getting mail, but just not sent through the US post office)

Out of time, send dear elders I can get those every and any day!!! love them!

love always
Hermana Brown

Sunday, December 9, 2012

First Handwritten email

What a surprise to wake up to a Sunday and get an email from Karee! We didn't expect to hear from her so soon. It's like Christmas already. It brought tears to my eyes to hear of her successes already. We are all so proud of her and her desire to serve. She is an awesome missionary.Not many people can say they love writing and giving talks, but Karee can. She used to do it in her free time. So here is her first (as she put it, her first handwritten email)

 I thought I wasn't going to be able to email for a week but surprise!! It still hasn't really sunk in that I am a missionary yet. It feels like EFY(Especially For Youth-a church camp for youth). I have been able to adjust fairly well. Nothing has been too overwhelming, which is really nice.

The Spanish language seems to be coming to me fairly well. The first day we walked into class and the teachers ONLY spoke Spanish was pretty much what I expected, but my ablility to understand 95% of what they were saying actually was a shocking to me. I didn't expect me to be able to comprehend that much. I am so grateful for that blessing though. It turns out that I am in the intermediate class with two others Hermanas (H.) (H. Jarvis y H. Huskinson) and five elders. As far as speaking the language, we are expected to use as much Spanish all of the time. It's hard when we all are native English speakers, but at the same time it's quite fun. I have already had my Spanglish come out a couple times. One Hermana asked what I have been doing and I said, "Nada maaaauuuch." The first day in this class they informed us that in two days (Friday) we would be teaching our first investigator in spanish of course. Wow! It didn't really scare me and I had heard that this would happen but it did kinda hit home that wow this is what I am actually doing. I am happy to say that that lesson went quite well. That we as a trio companionship were able to keep conversation going, make sense, and have the spirit with us! It was really neat. And we set up a return appointment for today! Also, we learned how to pray and bear testimony in Spanish. I prayed orally for the first time during that first lesson and then again to close the day with my district. For the lesson I had written a few keywords  that I was planning to use, but didn't look at it once! My personal prayers since then I have been able to pray mostly in Spanish for things I didn't think I knew how to say. It's quite amazing the gift of tongues and the blessing that it has already been. I am still going to have to work quite a bit. I am not that great at pronunciations but it will come.

When we met Thursday night with the district presidency we were told that each of us will have to prepare a talk in spanish to give during Sacrament meeting and will be called on at random to give those. I am excited for those. I like to write talks and it is going to give me  more practice. Also, at that meeting we all shared a little about ourselves and then bore our testimonies. It was really neat to hear all of those young men, I mean elders. I could really feel the spirit and now feel like I know them a bit better. I bore a simple testimony about the principles of the gospel. Later we were told who would be the Zone leader and the Coordinating sister. "Hermana Brown we would like to  extend the opportunity to serve more. because we are all missionaries we don't extend it as a calling." I am so humbled to be called. The sisters I am with are so amazing and it is going to be so cool to learn from them and try to teach them by example. I am currently reading through the handbook. I am going to have a bunch of meetings each Sunday. It is going to be great!

So far I absolutely love the MTC. The temple is so close! It is right across the street when we walk out of one of the gyms and I am going to try to get a picture of that. Also the mountains are so close!
We have to have an id card with us that works as everything. Key to get into buildings, get our food, and has money deposited onto it each week. They really do take good care of us here!
 That's all for now!

All my love,

Hermana Brown

Friday, December 7, 2012

Til We Meet Again

Karee left Tuesday morning for the airport where she flew to Salt Lake City, Utah. There her Grandpa and Grandma Stevenson picked up. She stayed with Kamber(her sister) and husband, Trevor overnight where she left bright and early to meet up with some last minute goodbyes in Provo before entering the Missionary Training Center(MTC) at 12:30pm. She will be there for about 6 weeks. There she will learn spanish and learn how to be a successful missionary. For those of you who may not know, Karee will not have access to a computer, but 30 minutes a week where she will be given the opportunity to write her family.This is the only contact we will have besides snail mail. She does get to call home on Christmas and Mother's Day. Yea! We will definitely look forward to those special days.
Karee's bell hops at the Springfield Branson Airport
Last attempt to be taller than Colten
last family photo( minus Kamber and Trevor) before the mission

Karee finally at the MTC. Look at her smile!

Trevor(brother n law) and Karee at MTC

Last hugs from Kamber! Thanks to Kamber and Trevor who took her to the MTC

Monday, December 3, 2012

Last minute hugs

This is it! Karee's new missionary blog. After viewing all the photos, Karee realized there were a lot of  people she wished she would have gotten pictures with.
Sis Pinkston and I

Sis Wallace, me, and Luci

Sis Peterson and I

Sis Syddall and I

Hayley and I

Me, Lisa, Ashley, Sis Carpenter, and Amanda

Kimberly and I

 Allison and I

Kyra and I

Mackenzie and I

Me, Jesika, and Dallin

Jesika and I

Sis Wallentine and I

Mathias, Lilly, me, Sis Nothum, Chase, and Ashley with Wiskers

Ronnie and I

Mrs Fraser, Macauley, and I

These sweet girls tried to ding dong ditch me treats, but "you can't ding dong ditch Browns".

 My brother and sisters ran them down and brought them back for pictures.

Sarah and I

Raven and I

Macey and I

Doesn't she have personality

Mackenzie and I

Klarie sandwiched in the middle

first picture of me as Sis Brown

second is best!

This has my name all over it!

Thank you silly ding dong ditchers and Sis Peterson!

Excuse my sideways pictures. I am still learning. I really did turn those pictures, but they had a mind of their own!
~Julie (Karee's Mom)~

Saturday, December 1, 2012

It's getting to be that time

The countdown says that I report to the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in 4 days, but I guess it actually more like 3. My favorite number 3! It just so happens that I have three big things on my mind.

1) I really don't like packing! I guess I never really have liked packing. I have a few days, and I haven't started packing yet. I did, however, finally go out and get a big (or should I say bigger) suitcase. So I don't really have an excuse now.

2) A little fear of rejection...I am not really afraid of leaving my family and friends (though that is really going to be hard!). And I am not really afraid or apprehensive about talking to total strangers and opening up to them (I am sure that will take a little getting used to). But I am a little afraid of rejection. Recently, when I was on a service scavenger hunt with the youth from church, I discovered how hard it can be. We were asking people to do simple tasks like washing their car windows at gas stations and they were telling us no. At one point, I decided to simply stay in the car and let the other girls try. I expressed to the other leader that I was feeling unsuccessful because so many people were rejecting. They didn't quite understand that all we wanted was to serve them. As a missionary, I will be in a position where rejection might come. Lack of interest, misunderstanding, or lack of desire to change will be the main cause of this rejection. It will be up to me to keep my head up, to stay positive and continue. I've got to have the ambition to keep going and not hide away in the car so someone else could do the work.

3) I have been blessed with so much in my life! Family, friends, teachers, and leaders who have taught me, guided me and loved me for who I am, not withstanding my weaknesses. I am blessed with my knowledge that I am a daughter of God, that He is my Father in Heaven. I am blessed with the knowledge of Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice that has made it possible for all to live after death and that families can truly be together forever, even after death. I am blessed to know that Christ has through modern day prophets (just like Adam, Noah, Abraham, and others found in the Bible) restored His Church on the earth today. I am blessed to have been born in a country where there is freedom of religion. And so many more blessings! The windows of heaven have been opened and blessings are coming (like it says in Malachi 3:10) in ways I would have never imagined. 

I do not know what the next 18 months will bring, but I do know that I am doing the right thing, at the right time, for the right reasons!