Is anyone else nervous?!?! Ahhh my hands are getting sweaty just thinking and typing about it...yes my hands still get so sweaty when I'm nervous!!!!
10 Days....only 10 DAYS!!! I am so excited to see you all though! Ok you can't judge me...I'm so FAT!! Just love me ok? and tell me I look so beautiful!! Hahaha Mum that is the one thing you can do for me. Even though I am fat..you can tell me I look great :) I'm gunna need that!
Ok let me just give you the run down on how things are going to go....
So I will have been on a plane/ traveling for 20 hours...I probably won't get much sleep the night before...and when I arrive it will be 5:00 am English time. I'm going to look like a Zombie. So do not judge me on our first encounter...at least wait until I don't have jet lag anymore ;) And I'll probably have BO....just throwing out all the possibilities :) Ha
Oh man....this is just too weird. I mean you always imagine what it is going to be like when you have 10 days left on your mission....its just so bitter sweet. So bitter sweet. I mean you put your heart and soul into something for 18 months and then your just ripped from it and expected to go back to being normal. Ok how about this...just expect me to be a total freak....just so weird...so when I'm not THAT BAD you won't be disappointed...how about that? As you can tell my thoughts are just everywhere!! Just so many feelings...
How about a report on the news...
Kalin: Gaaa you're a missionary sooooooon! You are going to be SUCH an amazing missionary! All you gotta do is open your mouth and talk to people. It's as easy as that, just talk to them like their your best friends and you'll be just fine. OH and be obedient! if your companion is not being obedient no matter how much older they are than you that's not ok...tell your mission president ;) That is my advice for you :) I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! You + Me + March 2015 = Mario Kart/ Pokemon Stadium party...and I will win Dig Dig everytime...that will never change ;)
Mariel: Oh my dear little Sister!!! I wish you all the best! Just tear it up!! Do your best and you will be just fine! Stay warm, layers will be your best friend!
Malory: YOU ARE G'ED UP FROM THE KNEE UP!!!! Don't you just feel so pretty! We are going every other day when I get home ok?! Like all the time...deal? Don't worry I will have you Sister Missionary trained..you won't need a trainer by the time I'm done with you ;) I love you!
Matt and Kate: You are SO BIG....do you remember me? I love you!!
Ok so this week in the missionary world of Slovakia. Oh how things are going grand! We're still doing A LOT of getting the members ready for the branch work/trying to progres our investigators/ learning the language. Yep, we're busy but things are so good. The Don Valley Unit will offically be Sheffield 4 on Sunday which is so exciting! I'll have to fill you in on the details when get home...writing it over email doesn't give it justice. I'm still working so hard and doing my best to sprint to the end. Some missionaries have a really hard time focusing, but I am having no problem at all. If anything I'm doing the opposite...I'm in denile. Ha it just feels like I'm going to be a missionary forever...but that's not going to happen. These next 10 days are going to fly by and I've got to make the best out of the time that I have left!
I love you all so so much! To the moon and back I do! PS is there anything you want from England. I'm really struggling trying to find you suvenears (totally spelled wrong) Its tough cause everything is so expensive here. I'm trying to find you British things...but they don't really have a whole lot of that. So I'm thinking about just a LOT of chocolate. I mean you can't get that in America. So if there is anything specific you want let me know..or I'm probabably just going to bring everyone home a ton on English candy and chocolate. Just let me know ;)....welp one more email and you'll be seeing my face. Absolute madness. Cheers all!
Yep...it's snowing...right now. What?! It's March right? Oh, wait...now the sun is shining...what is going on?! Malory you have this to look forward too haha British weather...all 4 seasons in one day!
First and formost:
I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'VE BEEN TOLD! SOMEONES GETTING PRETTY OLD! SOUND OFF, HAPPY! SOUND OFF, BIRTHDAY! SOUND OFF HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU DADDY!!!! Whew...Dad you're going to be 53 tomorrow! Man, how do you feel? Well I hope you have a wonderful day and that everyone spoils you wrotten. I figured I'd save on postage and just take your present with me when I get home. So we'll have Christmas and yours and Danny's BDays when I get home ok?
How is everyone?! I hope so so well! Things in the DV are still going great. We're making preperations for the new branch and getting things all ready to fly! We just have this sunday and then BAM Sheffield 4 will be offically made! So exciting! So many exciting things, I'm so lucky to be here for it!
So Mal is going through the temple! :D Good, about time!! She's going to love it! She's lucky, she'll have a temple in her mission so if she's serving close to it, she can go. So lucky!! Oh, send Anita my love. Tell her not to be sad, everyone has different gifts and talents. She's got gifts that a lof of those girls who made it don't have. Keep your chin up Sis. all will be well! Ha it's funny that you're getting people coming up to you at church cause I'm getting the same thing! "Sister Brown, youre leaving soon! "Sister Brown you've got 2 sundays left!" "Sister Brown have you packed your bags yet?" Ha good greif! Thank you, yes I am leaving soon. Yes, your right. NO! Hahaha I hope when I'm rich and famous I can take you all to England and show you all the funny people here. The culture is so different, really dry but I love it!
I think the lesson for this week was how God hears and answers every prayer. We were in a lesson with some of our investigators who's english isn't the best and our slovakian is so broken. I was trying to hard to resolve their conserns but I was running out of words. I prayed the smallest prayer in my heart that God would help us to communicate so that these wonderful people could progress. And no more than 5 seconds later we hear a knock on the door and it was the Elders!! The Elders are from the Czech so they are completely fluent in Slovakian and they were able to translate for us. What a huge miracle and answer to prayer. I know that God lives because of moments like this!! He IS there and answers are prayers I know it because I lived it. He hears all are needs and desires and will help us out! So get down on your knees and pray ;) He's alwasys listening.
I hope you each have a wonderful week! I love you all to the moon and back!! Cheers!
Alright...it's week 3 of the transfer...who's freaking out...CAUSE I AM!!!!!!!!
Alright with all that being said ha!
Hello my Dear Family!
How is everyone! Ok first let me get the business out of the way:
KOBY IS GOING TO RENO!!!! GAAAA I'MMM SOS OS OSOSOSOSSOSOSOSOSOSO HAPPY! Ok my last companion Sister MacKay is from Reno and she talked about the Reno mission all the time! The missionaries there are amazing! I have no doubt Koby is going to blow the Reno world away! Give him the biggest hug for me and a huge congratulations! And you're leaving on the same day!!! Gaaa! That is AMAZING!!!
Mom, I didn't get the first part of that email, but that is no problem!! :) I mean lets be honest, you can fill me in soon. Yikes.
Ok I think that is all the business.
Oh man my heart is just so full!! I'm trying not to cry in front of all these people at the library...ok I'm being tough...ok...ok haha
I think my heart is so full because I bore my last testimony at church yesterday ha and of course cried through the whole thing. All the Slovakians were crying, all the English members were crying, it was a huge cry fest!!! It's just been tough having all these pages in my "Mission Chapter" of my life turning...and the chapter is coming to a close. I've been really tough so far, but I just cried like a little kid when I bore my last testimony. This part of my life has been...I don't even know how to describe it..just pure bliss. Pure heaven. I got an email from my dearest of friends Chelsea Sorenson today and it just about put me into tears. I'm gonna put the part that touched me the most. Ok I'm not putting this on here to toot my own horn...but I want you to catch a glimps of what missions do to people and how much the people, the friendships you make change you forever. There have been so many people on my mission who have changed me for the good and she is definitely on the top 3:
okay okay but heres the real stuff.... Sister Brown. I want you to know that I truly love you so much. I am terrible at keeping in touch and I am so sorry about that, but I mean this when I say it, I think about you all the time and still try to follow the example that you set for me when we served together. When I was with you I didn't have to try to be happy, I just was. You happiness is contagious and has made me into more of a positive person, which is something that I really need. You are an amazing Sister missionary. You came and served for the right reasons and served with your whole heart and soul and because of that you have been enormously successful! You should be just so proud of yourself. You really are just amazing. Do not worry about a single thing these next couple of weeks... have fun and stay focused, because I promise you that this experience is never coming back around again. Tie up any loose ends that you have and let the Lord finish what he started. I love you. You are extraordinary.
I read this and just about burst into tears because she changed ME! Our time together was so short, only 6 weeks but in that short time we changed so much together! My mission is something I wouldn't trade for all the money in the whole world. My mission is so precious to me. So precious. I think my favourite line in that is "Let the Lord finish what he started". I feel like Alma when he said, "Oh if I were an angel...". For me it's, "Oh if I was a missionary until the Lord comes and says "My work is done"." However, that is not how it goes. Sister Sorenson is so right I need to tie up the loose ends, continue to work with all I have, and prepare for the peace that comes to each missionary who serves their mission with honour.
Mal, Mac, Koby, Mariel, and all other missionaries out there!! Prepare for the most sacred 18 months-2 years of your life. Prepare to work hard. Prepare to defend what you believe to those who refuse to listen. Prepare to rejoice when you see those you love the most enter the waters of eternity. Prepare to be your Saviours hands...for there is nothing sweeter on earth than to be his instrument.
Oh I just want to cry!!!! Ha but I won't. Because like I said, the peace only comes to those who leave with no regrets. And that is the peace I feel right now, I have no regrets! This is why I can come home with a smile on my face, and be able to step of the plane excited to see the loved ones who I owe so much to. The ones who have supported me through so much. I love you all so much. I've been saying to the moon and back for 18 months...but that can't even begin to describe how much I really do love you all. I hope you have a wonderful week!! Cheers from the best place in the world!!
Welp there it is...there is my flight plans...weird. So my question to you is this...is President Richards going to release me that night or am i going to be released in the morning?
I'm so glad things went so well at Meg's bridal shower!! The picture looked so great mom! And about Steph...oh the poor dear. Man she is the queen of stress!! As the English say "Keep calm, and carry on!" (They really do say that all the time ;) ) Well if they are engaged of course we can throw another bridal shower! I'll get to come to this one!!
There are VERY EXCITING THINGS HAPPENING HERE PEOPLE!!!! Guess what book is now on it's way to us....KNIHA MORMONOVA!!!!!! Yes you can now officially order the Book of Mormon in Slovak online!! And you can view it on lds.org!! Isn't that incredible!! More than ever I wish I had an ipad as a missionary cause then i could just show all my peeps this wonderful book ONLINE! Isn't technology incredible! Everyone put in their prayers that the book comes before I leave!!! I so want to be here when they get here!!! I'm so blessed! I'm so lucky to be here at such and amazing time, what a way to end my mission right?!
Well the sprint to the end is going well :) Joe you'd be so proud. I'm doing my VERY VERY BEST!! We had another great week here in DV. Finding and progressing Gods chosen children. It's the best! Oh speaking of Joey: (total tangent...sorry) Joey said they find out if they're having a boy or girl the first week of March right!? Tell him I want him and Tiff to tell me face to face! Wait until I get home to tell me!!! This is big news, I want it the best way possible!!! :)
Ok now back to missionary work :) This past week we had our Zone Confrence where...yep, I gave my departing testimony. (Because there are so many missionaries coming in they are having the missionaries who are leaving soon give there testimony's to the mission sooner) It was really sireal. I couldn't help but reflect on my mission and the things I've been so blessed to be apart of. I remember getting up in front of the missionaries here my first day in the field to bare my testimony. Man I was so nervous. I remember that person, but the blessing is...is that I'm not that person any more. I am new and improved :) A major upgrate ;) I feel like I've gained SO MUCH on my mission. I'd say my testimony is one of the things that has grown the most. The testimony I have of this gospel and my beloved Saviour is what I will absolutly charish and take from my missionary experiences. I think I've said this over and over and over but I'll say it again. I LOVE MY MISSION!!!! I love my missionary life! And I'm going to continue on soaking up all I can while I can!
I hope you all have SUCH an amazing week!! I love you to the moon and back!! Cheers til next week!
Ok to answer your questions first so I don't forget:
1) Oh youre hosting Megans bridal shower!! You are the best! Ummm...I'm gunna be honest...I've been a missionary for almost 18 months..all I really know and remember is Preach my Gospel and random words in Slovakian. hahah sorry I'm not going to be much help when it comes to what you should cook or decorate. Just tell her that I love her and I'm SO BEYOND happy for her!
2) Gaaa! Steph's getting married too?! ....I'm the only one left...ha...great.
3) From what I hear, you'll get the flight itinerary (spelling?) before I do. They give us our plane plans only a week before we leave, but from what I hear you should be getting the plane plans any week now. For sure you'll know before I do. :)
I'm trying to think if there was anything else...OH ya!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDMA!!!! Oh tell her I love her!!!
Ok I think that is everything :)
This week was another great week in Don Valley! There are some pretty exciting things happening here peeps! I don't know if you're aware but the very first copies of the BOM in Slovak hit Slovakian soil!!! We don't have any here but there are copies floating around in Slovakia! I hope our copies will be coming soon!!!! Gaa we need them here so bad! I hope I get my hands on one at LEAST before I leave. Another exciting bit of information..guess whose unit will offically be made into a branch my VERY LAST SUNDAY?!?! MINE!!! MY SLOVAKIAN UNIT!! Gaa isn't that the best news ever!!! From what we here its going to be all Slovakian leadership! Each Slovakian will have a proper calling, of course with some help though. They've got "shadows" coming, ha at least that is what they are calling them. Each slovakian leader (ie. Bishop, RS Pres, EQ Pres, Primary Pres, ect.) will have an English member helping them. So we're have the best of the best English members in the stake helping us out! Man, it's so good. So when I leave they will have no problems, everything will be set up and ready to go and ready TO BOOM! Once this unit is made into a branch, once we get the BOM and Bible in Slovak...this place is going to explode!! Man, it stinks that I don't get to be here for that BUT I am so greatful I get to be here for what is to come!
You're right Mum, these next 5 weeks are going to be busy...translation...the time is going to zip by... :( I just can't believe that this chapter of my life is closing!! But it's the opening up of new one right?! I think that Chapter will be called, "Diet, Accutaine, and Pedicure" ;) What do ya think? Ha!
I love you all so much! To the moon and back I do! Have a wonderful week!!
Welp...I had my last transfer call last night...and here are the results:
.....I....am...STAYING! Don Valley will be my last area. In missionary terms, "I'll be dying in DV!". Sister Melander is leaving though :( So sad. But she's going on to do amazing things. She's whitewash training a new missionary. So she's opening up a new area and getting a greenie!! How exciting! She's going to be and do amazing things. I'm so happy for her! However...with the death of my companion...that means that my languist is going as well. I'm taking over the area...and the language. Yikes. Not gunna lie, I'm pretty nervous. But I am greatful for the challenge ;) Since Sister Melander is leaving that means I'm getting.....drum roll please....
The nicest, sweetest, kindest, Sister McReynolds!! :) Oh she is such a dear! She actually served here in Don Valley with Sister Melander for 3 weeks, but left cause she got called to train like Sister MacKay got called a few weeks ago. So now she is back and we're going to rock the Slovakian world together! :)
So as I'm sure you are all aware, (I think even more aware than I am ha) these are my last 6 weeks as a missionary. So weird. I remember when Joey had 6 weeks left and we were all FREAKING OUT!! I remember them being the slowest 6 weeks of my life. It's really strange being on the other side. I mean I've been in Don Valley for 3 months now and a transfer goes by so so so so so so so fast!! I've had a lot of moments on my mission where I've thought, "This must have been what Joey was feeling..." I'm totally living that right now. I honestly don't really know how to feel about this chapter of my life closing. Ha I think I'm in denile hahahaha! One thing I do know is that I want to finish my mission like my 2 brothers did. I wanna sprint to the end like Ray and Joe did. I want to be another "Brown Rodina Missionarky". I want to get to the last day of my mission and think, "Yes, I worked every minute I could, talked to every person I could, invited all I could to come unto Christ." So far so good :) I've done 17 months of hard work, but now is where the endurence kicks in. This is the most imortant part of the race. So lets kick it into hyperdrive and RUN!! :D!
We had a really great week here in DV. Sometimes I wish I had a pensive or a Beauty and the Beast magic mirror and let you see what it is we're doing here. It is a ton of hard work, but the most rewarding. It's like we're saving a lost tribe here ha. It's called the gypsy tribe. I don't know how much Raymond knows about gypsys but if he knows anything sit him down and make him tell you the peopel I'm teaching haha. I love them SOOOO much!! Let me try to give you a little taste of gyspy history here. So Gypsys for hundreds of years, centuries, have been a wandering people. (they really are a lost tribe I tell you!!) They never stay any place very long. The gypsy culture is pretty prominent in Czech, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania. So the people we mostly run into are prominently Slovakian and some Hungarian and Czechy gypsies. So these gypsys have come to England..becuase thats what they do...they move. They have come to England for a better life. Most of the gypsys are either here in Sheffield or in Leeds. The town that we work in mostly is Darnall. Darnall is gypsy heaven, they're everywhere! About a year ago some missionaries baptized some pretty epic Slovakian gypsy families and they were attending Sheffiled 1. In the last year the membership of Slovakians has boomed so what they have done is taken the Slovakians "out" of the ward and has made a unit for the Slovakians (so they can go and have a service in their own language and not be so English confused) So what we're doing now is trying to transition the unit into a branch. The unit has no branch presidency, no RS leaders, no preisthood leaders, no YM or YWs. So ha...we run the show haha. We have 2 group leaders named Fero Dunka and Vlad Kandrac. Fero teaches sunday school and Vlad is in charge of Sacrament Meeting. We run RS and the Elders run Preisthood. We have this EPIC Senior couple who runs Primary and they the ward helps out with Youth class. I wish I had time to even tell you everything that we do here!!! (When I get home I'm gunna need a good week where you just sit and listen to me talk about my mission...I might need a good week to just talk about Don Valley!!) On top of all of this...these people speak a different language...BUT I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!!!!!!! It's a really tough area...but its tough in the good kind of way. Alnwick was tought because...well Sister Berakdar was crazy. But here I have wonderful companions, wonderful leadership, wonderful ward, a ton of support.
Im running out of time and I want to send some pictures off! So just know that I love you all so much! To the moon and back (I mean geez you should know that by now ;) ) Have a wonderful week all ok!
PS Jillie and Joey thank you so much for your emails!!! Gaaa I love you both! I'll email next week ok?! ok!
How is everyone!? I hope so good! Hahaha don't worry Mum, missionaries have a Valentines Day force field around us so we never get struck by flying arrows. ;) I can't believe it's February! Sister Stout has 10 days left in her mission...weird right? Time doesn't stop for anyone! Mal's getting close to leaving!! :D Ahhh! That is absolute madness, but so exciting! Don't worry about Mal Pal, she was made for England. I've known for awhile that if she was going to put her papers in that she would get called here. England just screams, "Malory Brown"!!! She's going to tear it up in Manchester :) I actually have some insider information about that. So, I guess the first Presidency and the Quorem of the 12 have decided to put a majority of the new missionaries in the UK. They're doing this because they feel that if they can get things rolling in the UK, the church will go global. Exciting right. AND they're only putting the elite in the UK....ok this may just be my opinion...I am a little bias, I mean Uncle Randy served here, I've been here and my little sister is on her way...so exciting! :) By May our mission will have doubled in size. We're getting 20 Sister and 78 Elders. From what I hear the Manchester Mission will have 40 new Sister Missionaries by May. You're one of those Mal!
I was reading in Alma this morning about the Army of Helemen. The Stripling Warriors. Mal, Mac and Mariel are the Stripling Warriors...and I will tell you why :) So when Antipus was fighting off the Lamanites he needed some serious help. They were about to lose, but in came the Army of Helemen to save the day. That is how I feel about these new missionaries. There is no way we will win the battle here in the UK or anywhere in the world unless we have some new, young, righteous, and worthy warriors that have been taught in there youth. I read the scripture about how they "never doubted that their mothers knew it". That line has carried me my whole mission and it means so much more to me now. I read this line at the beginning of my mission and knew that I had a mother and a father, a family who knew that I could do it. They have always been able to see what I couldn't. Now I've got 2 amazing missionary siblings who will be starting their missions right about the same time. And I've got a Mum who I'm sure is nervous to let her little twins got out into the field. Mum never forget you know it. And twins, never forget that your Mum, Dad, and family know it. Never forget your testimony. We know this church is true, so we will fight the good fight. We will defend our honour, our families, our religeon, and bring more of Gods children back home to him. Jeffrey R. Holland said that never was there a more exciting time to be a missionary in the history of the church. And our family is apart of it!! Mal, Mac, Mariel, Kalin!!!! :D It is just the best thing EVER! I'm so grateful to be a missionary, to be apart of this army! I'm so grateful for a loving and supportive family who has supported me my whole time in this battle. I love each of you to the moon and back again and again!! I hope you have such a wonderful week! Cheers from the battle field ;)