Mom and Dad Well can you believe it?! The final email.... This is weird. I wish I could fully explain to you all the feelings that I am feeling right now. I feel so overwhelmed. I am so excited but yet, this is the last thing I want to be doing. This past week couldn't have been any better. We were working so hard with getting our investigators prepared for baptism. I have never felt so busy. Getting two people ready for baptism on the same day. What an exciting thing to experience. Sunday was seriously a day I will never forget. Since angel and Keiko both were going to get baptized after the stake conference, they saved seats for them, clear in the very front. Like we are talking the second row. So we sat up there with angel and Keiko. Something even cooler. Keiko's mother and younger brother both came as well!! Her mom flew up here for the weekend. It was such a surreal meeting. Keiko was asked to give the closing prayer at the conference. The whole time everyone was talking if felt like they were just staring at us, In their eyes. Such a neat experience. When sister Nelson got up and spoke she asked the people who were getting baptized today to stand up. And then just look around at everyone who was at this meeting. And then she asked all the people who are supporting them with their decision to be baptized to also please stand up. Everyone in the crowd stood up and then she asked the people who were getting baptized to take a moment and look around and see everyone that are supporting them. It was so great. The spirit filled the room right away. It was one of the coolest things I have experienced. Angel is truly amazing. She is so prepared. She has been reading and praying so much and she just has such a strong testimony of God. She knows that this world has so many problems and the only way to over come them is through help from God, she use to think that she was the person that would fix everything. And that it was all her. But now she knows that that is wrong she knows that she needs God in her life and she knows that she can and will be able to always have him now. She has such a desire to share the gospel with everyone she comes in contact with. She is moving back to China in a few days which is so sad, but I know it is where she needs to be. I know that she is going to bless those people in China more than anything and she is going to help so many people out while she is there. Keiko. Talk about someone prepared, yesterday was just her time. It was time for her to get baptized. She has known about the gospel her entire life. She has seen it bless her mothers life, her sisters life, her families life and others. She knows that it is good. She had some things happen to her in her life lately that were a game changer. Things that made her become prepared and accepting to the gospel. Having her mother there was such an treat. I am so thankful for Keiko and for her example she has been to me. I am going to miss her so much. The things I have learned since becoming a missionary are uncountable. The people I have met are unforgettable. The miracles I have witnessed are life changing. Being blessed with the chance to serve a mission for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has blessed my life. I am so happy with the decision I made to serve. I can't wait until we get to talk and get see each other on Friday. Where has time gone. 19 months seems so fast... Like a blink of an eye. Love you lots XOXO E
Monday, March 16, 2015
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Can you believe it.... Next week.... I am going to come home. I really am excited to see you all.... But I think part of me is going to die. Not to be Dramatic or anything. For example: on Thursday night we had exchanges. So I have been living in Urawa since August. And I haven't slept in another apartment since September 9th or something like that. Well last week I was staying in Koshigaya. It was way fun. The girl I didn't exchanges with is so cute and the apartment is great. But that night I just felt so sad.... Like something was wrong. I layed down in my futon that night and just felt so sad. finally I realized what it was. Home sickness.... I was seriously homesick for Urawa... Like I missed it. It's my home there and I was gone. So I am a little nervous to come home. So big news!! On Sunday elder Nelson is going to Saitama stake and there is going to be a special stake conference. It's going to be held at my church here in Urawa. So that is going to be so neat. I have never been to church with an apostle before so I am excited. Also that day we have a baptismal service. Angel is going to get baptized them. She is great! She is doing so well. Progressing very well and is so excited to be baptized. She already had her interview and passed and everything. So happy. But please keep praying for her. But the best news is... Not only is angel getting baptized but so is our other investigator Keiko!!!! Last Tuesday we had a lesson with her and we asked her to get baptized and she said yes! So we started talking about when sh e should and she actually told us that she has been thinking about it and wants to get baptized on the 15th! Oh my gosh, needless to say we have been super busy here. We are preparing two people to get baptized. So busy here. I am so excited for Keiko. So is so amazing. Such an example to me and so great. I feel so blessed that Heavenly Father has given me such an amazing miracle towards the end of my mission. Please please please keep Keiko in your prayers she needs all the strength and the help she can get!!! That's About all that is going on for me here. I love you all. Thanks literally for everything you do for me! I did get the package from elder and sister brown. So happy and so thankful for it!! XOXO E Just getting warmed up for some pingpong
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Mom and Dad Hey hey hey Wow this week was amazing. I can not believe the blessings that I have been given so far on my mission. And they just keep coming. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father loves me so much to keep blessing me like this. Wednesday was probably the best days I have had my entire mission. On Wednesday we did many things. The day was great. But the best part didn't happen tell eikaiwa. So we have this investigator Angel. She is great but the past couple weeks she has just kind of not been around. Her and her husband are moving to China so she has been busy doing things for that and we just haven't heard from her. But today she messaged me and said that she was going to come early to eikiawa because she needed to talk. My heart sunk. I was worried all my fears were coming true. She came early and when she came she had a large bag, and I of course tried to see what was in it. And when I peeked I saw all the church books we had given her in it. I tried to ignore what I just saw and talk with her. So we started. I had this video I wanted to show her about God and science and how they support each other and everything. And I started off and she quickly interrupted me. She said "oh, you don't need to show me that video, I already believe in God." And then she continued on with her experience she had to come to know that God is real. I was in shock. Then the best part happened. She looked me straight in the eyes and said "Sister Brown, I want to get baptized. Pleas tell me all the things that I need to do so that I can get baptized before I go to china." I literally just sat there, I think my mouth fell to the ground and I just kind of started laughing. Angle looked at me all puzzled and asked what was happening. I told her how excited I was for her and how I want to help her so bad. So things just went from there. Her baptismal date is for March 14th. That night we talked about all of the commandments and the things she needs to do to prepare for baptism. And we have just been busy with that the past days. I feel so honored and blessed that God has given me such a huge miracle towards the end of my mission. I love being a missionary it is great! That is too bad to hear about Murray. What a tough loss. Next year :) Maybe I will be the good luck charm. When does the big NCAA madness start? Mom I hope that your work schedule doesn't interfere with it too much! And Spring training. Oh baby. that is exciting. I sure hope that they are playing in Cali when we are there. I will pray for that! Haha The weather here is starting to get better. But it's annoying because one day it will be super good weather and sunny and warm and then the next day it is freezing cold and windy and rainy haha. But today is great. And the Sakura are starting to blossom so that is exciting. I might be lucky enough to see them before I go home! Hope you have a great week!! XOXO E🐅
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Mom and Dad Hey! How is everyone doing.. Gee thanks for the count down haha.. Three more emails left. Talk about crazy... It's like almost 20 days left.. Gag me. I made my companion promise me that she wouldn't talk to me about it unless I bring it up haha. I am way excited... But I love Japan..... I love everything here and everyone here. Sooo yeah... It's awkward but oh well. So this week was way cool!! So many awesome things are happening here in Urawa. I feel so blessed to be serving here right now. So Keiko. She is amazing. She is from a part member family. She is from the Fukuoka area. And she moved to Urawa like 2 years ago and then a couple weeks ago she started coming to eikaiwa and started meeting with us and what not. She went to church all the time when she was little but never got baptized. And like a year ago her older sister got baptized and her younger brother is baptized. And back at her parents house her mom is the only member but like the missionaries are always over there. And like yokushiteruyo. So last week she came to FHE and then we had a lesson at her house on Saturday and then she came to church as well and we have a lesson with her tonight. Like it is just amazing. I truly have such a testimony that things come when the lords time is right! Please pray for Keiko that she will understand the need for baptism and understand why it's importsnt and be able to gain her own personal testimony. So we have this "investigator" she is kind of out there.... And yeah she like had us over for a lesson and made us this curry and what not and then we tried to give her a Book of Mormon and she got all awkward and would take it but she said when she comes to the church on Sunday's she will use it and read it but only at church and that she can't have it at her house. It was way strange. So then like a couple days later she called us and sister Sticht answered the phone and I feel so bad... Like she just started chewing her out saying I had you over for lunch and was being all nice and then you try to give me like this free book about God and was just saying all these crazy irrational things. She like literally just chewed her out for over 20 minutes. I thought by the time the call was over sister Sticht was going to cry. Yesterday we were so lucky to hear elder Ballard speak. That was very neat. We talked lots about the importance of prayer. And how our investigators need to do person prayer or else we are basically wasting our time.. I never really thought about it that way. But when I look at it. The investigators that are progressing towards baptism are all the ones who are do the basics by their selves, like reading the praying. So that's was very eye opening. It was so fun being able to a have an apostle come speak to us at our mission. And I feel even more blessed because In like 2 weeks elder Nelson is going to be coming and speaking to us as well. Oh but I do have this way super awkward story that happened this week. So we have this investigator, her name is Ai. Well turns out like one day she met this guy from the ward and they became like good friends. The guy from the ward is way cool and has a super cute family and just rocks. Anyways he liked invited ai over for dinner so then she told us about it so we called him and he invited us over as well. So we go over and like turns out his wife isn't home and she is working haha...but like his kids are all home. So we go in and like ai is all awkward haha like it was funny she speaks English and said to us, this is way weird haha. The guy from the ward is like cooking all this food and then we sit down and eat and he like dims the lights and turns on some piano music and like put some essential oils in the air haha like I was just thinking what the flip is about to happen haha. But all in all it turned out way good! And Ai is progressing and what not. Haha I think maybe we should take all of our investigators over to his house and then they will all start progressing Things are fun and great here. It's been raining lots lately but it's mostly just been raining miracles here!! XOXO
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Mom and Dad This week... Oh this week, it was filled with some much joy but also so much sadness. Okay I will start off with the good. We have baptismal dates here in Urawa. Our investigators are doing so well. I am so grateful to be a part of the work here. Sister Sticht is so great. Like she is awesome. I love her so much, she loves missionary work and the utes. So what more could you want in a companion. Anyway...... Where should I start with this week. We had lots of miracles but also lots of really sad hard things happen too!! For example this week we found 3 new investigators. Talk about awesome and we also taught lots of lessons. Something really cool that happened was, On Saturday we were on the train. And we started taking to this girl and she was so cute and nice. Well long story short, we talked and talked and talked. She has some interest in God but hasn't really thought about him to much. She insists that she is another religion. Well we asked her if we could exchange numbers and she said yes! So then she like only took picture of our email address. It was like realy awkward. And then she said she would email us. Usually when that happens, you never hear from them again..l but we tried to keep the faith. And guess what the next night she emailed us and said thanks for meeting me it was so great and thanks so much for praying for me, I really appreciate it. She is so golden!! We are way excited about her. So that was an awesome part of the week. We were lucky enough to have many things like that happen this week! So, I never really realized the power of Friday the 13th until I became a missionary... Because let's just say it was one to remember. I now believe that Friday the 13th is truly an unlucky day! Haha So first off really sad news happened in the ward here, one of the young members a boy about 14 years old, tragically and unexpectedly passed away on Friday. He went to the doctors for a cold he thought he had... But then it turned into like a tumor on his heart and he got it removed and then was in a coma for a few days and the he woke up and was like doing perfect and then a day later his heart just stopped. So this past weekend was funeral things. It was so hard. Me and sister Sticht literally stood on the corner of a street for 2 hours holding up a sign and telling people where to go so they could go to the viewing for this little boy. Talk about the worst Valentine's Day ever. Also another things that came clear out of the blue on Friday was.... Sonpon and her husband Yu (the Matsuhashi family) dropped us. Yeah... Talk about ouch. That was very unexpected. But I don't know... I think that the Matsuhashi family will be back. They will realize the way church, and God, and Jesus Christ have changed their life.
This week I have thought lots and lots and lots about this gospel. So often I find myself questioning the very things I am here teaching. The trials people are faced in this life, why people aren't born into the church, why bad things happen to good people, why won't everyone accept this message of goodness. And I don't know. I think that the answer that I just keep coming up with over and over again is I don't know why these things happen. I don't know the answer to any of those questions, but what I do know is that God loves every single one of us so much. And that he wants the very best for all of us in this life. But things are great. I love Japan. I love being a missionary. I love this gospel and I love my savior Jesus Christ! Have a great week! XOXO E NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
This week has been a week of fun.
Sister Sticht is way cool and way fun. We have tons of fun together and we are already seeing lots and lots of miracles together. I am glad she is my companion.
She has so much desire to work hard and see miracles and baptisms. This week we set a baptismal date!! So excited! It is for Eri. It is for April 5. So about two months away which is the perfect amount of time. She is way nervous but way excited so please pray for her so that she can get baptized on that date! It was weird saying goodbye to sister combs, but like normal at the same time because like I feel like I will see her again so it is all good. For transfers marina Dorff drove us to the mission home so that we didn't have to ride the train. It was fun talking with her. She has so many funny mission stories. I can't wait tell I get to tell you all about mine haha.
This week we went with our Chinese investigators Han to a really good Chinese place. Like it was so Chinese. The people there like all spoke Chinese and everything was just Chinese even all the customers. At this place you could order blood soup. Gross. Or you could order roasted butterfly cocoons. Don't worry I didn't eat any of that. Cool news, this transfer we found out that two apostles will be coming to our mission and doing a conference. Elder Ballard in February and Elder Nelson in March. I am way excited for that.
On Sunday we went to visit a less active member. And like normally we just meet her at like a food place or something. But this time we went to her house and just knocked on the door and guess what! She was home and she even invited us in. It was so cool. I was like oh my gosh this never happens! Like so surprised ha. So we went in snd had this way huge lesson with her about so many good church thing. But it like makes me so sad because she told us basically when it came down to getting married it was like either choose to marry someone not mormon and be kind of judged by all the members or just don't get married. I guess there weren't many options for her to choose from. Options being men... So she chose to marry someone not mormon and that just kind of started the ball rolling. It was crazy though. She told us all bout her favorite parts of the Book of Mormon and everything. Like she remembers so much.. But it like breaks my heart because she knows of the truthfulness of the gospel and the joy it brings in life and she just doesn't have it now and now she has a daughter and just like is holding her back from the knowledge. Like she hasn't taught her daughter any of it or anything, so I just have to say thank you mom and dad. Thank you for raising me in a house where the gospel is. Thank you for giving me a chance to learn and grow and gain my own testimony. I am so grateful for it. It is something I will hold and cherish forever.
Japan is great and the people here are great as well. I love being a missionary so much! Have a good week! XOXO
Thursday, February 5, 2015
Mom and Dad Transfer calls were today! I am so happy. My new companion is sister stitch. She should be lots of fun. She is coming from nagaoka. I am way excited. This last week has been hard but way good so yeah. This week we have had lots of appointments and lessons so that was way cool! But probably the coolest thing that happened was on Wednesday. We have a mission tour and a general authority came. Elder Aoyagi. He came and it was so great. It is really awesome being a missionary because you get so many amazing opportunities to have a general authority come and speak to you!! We talked about how we much be not only authors of faith but also finishers of faith so that was something I really thought about. How we started this work and and now we need to make sure that we can end it as well, if that makes sense. I learned many things from him. But my favorite thing I learned was about obedience. That whatever calling we receive in this life we need to fulfill it with full obedience. As missionaries, and church members, and parents, as Sunday school teachers, and calling you receive, it doesn't matter. And the blessings that come from doing that will be uncountable. So that was a good day on Wednesday. This week we also met with this lady angle. She is from a China and is so funny!! She speaks like perfect English and Japanese and Chinese. She is moving back to China in march so that is sad. We had such a great lesson with her. We talked about prayer. And she asked us, "do you really think that prayer works" so we had an awesome lesson about prayer. Then we talked about God. And she asked, "how do you believe in God, if you believe in science?" It was so amazing, she just kept asking the perfect questions. She told us she wants to keep meeting Until she goes to China and then when she gets to China she will meet with the missionaries in China and go to church there. It was just really cool lesson with her. This week we had lots of cool lessons. Also this week it snowed! Like it actually snowed. On Friday morning we woke up and the snow was just coming down and it came down probably tell about noon. But it was so great like, it actually stayed on the ground for a while and everything. I secretly miss the snow. Something that I have been thinking about lately is this, being a missionary and a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I often forget that bad things can happen in life. We are blessed with a special knowledge, and the promise of many special blessings. The words of our church promise that if we follow Jesus's example and keep the commandments that we will be blessed. So it's that thinking that I forget bad things can happen to us as human beings. I know that everyone receives their own set of challenges in life. And I know that God doesn't leave us alone with those challenges. He will also be there for us. I think that is something we more often forget in life. I know that God loves each and everyone of us. I know often we think why me, this isn't fair. But that is when we need to remember the special knowledge we have and the promised blessings that are waiting for us! Sounds like things are good back home. Sorry dad that mom keeps having all this fun... Not cool haha mom keep having lots of fun. It is crazy the weather has been so nice haha. It's cold her but it could be a lot colder so no complaining the thing that makes it most cold is the wind. Ha Things here In Japan are great!!! XOXO Sister Brown
Monday, January 19, 2015
Mom and Dad
So yeah things here are super fun! This last week we had a huge party thing at the church. There is this Japanese food called mochi that every Japanese person loves.
And we had so many of our investigators show up. It was so fun! I will send you a video of people making it. It's basically like this really soft rice. Ha I have no idea how to explain mochi. I am sorry. Side note. The black guy in the video his name is Brother Biney. He was a world champion boxer haha. But not anymore now he is just a boxing ref. But still now cool is that!
This past week my companion has had the flu Ha so terrible. I feel bad for her but I felt like I was going to die. I needed fresh air so bad haha and my fingers and eyes were getting tired from staring at my iPad and doing area book on it all day haha and emailing people and calling people on our dorky phone only works for like 50 minutes before your feel like dying haha. Not to be dramatic or anything.
But yeah. At church we had lots of investigators come so that was way exciting! It's so fun.
We had dinner at the Dorffs house on Sunday night. We ate Hawaiian haystacks. Talk about long time no eat haha. It tastes delicious. They are so kind to and make sure that everything is always gluten free for me. I love them. Anyways we went over with our investigators. Eri came she is so cute. She loves going to church and she loves learning the gospel and she just looks at all the families and everything and sees how happy everyone is and she just talks about how much she wants that. It's so great. Then the Matsuhashi family also came. They are Sonpon, Hinaco, and Yu. President Dorff arranged for this family from another Ward to come over for dinner as well. Sonpon has been wanting to meet them because the dad is from Thailand. And so on it was just really cute. Such a great night!
I can't believe Kate and Jeff are home. So cute. So exciting haha!!
I love ya and hope you have a great week.
Friday, January 16, 2015
Mom and Dad This week has been a whirlwind that is for sure. Things are so amazing and our investigators are progressing like none other! It's amazing. We had some way cool things happen this last week. But I am stuck. Lately I have been thinking about so many things that have happened on my mission. All the people I have met. The people who I have shared the gospel with. The list just goes on and on and on. And my heart breaks. I want so badly to see them again. I want so badly to go back to church in Nagaoka and Kiryu.To be able to sit down and visit with all my friends there, to teach them again, to share my testimony, to laugh with them, to hug them. Like it's weird. We have been so busy here in Urawa. We are teaching so many people. I have never been so happy yet part of my heart hurts. It's such a weird feeling. Yeah I don't know what's wrong with me. I think it's because I finally am realizing that I won't transfer back to those places. And it makes me question if I will ever see these people ever again in my life. Transfers aren't for a few more weeks. Like the beginning of February. So that is exciting. But it makes me nervous. I don't know who any one is in the mission anymore... Haha so I am worried about my next companion. But it's all good. I know she will be great! This past week we had such an amazing lesson with Eri. We talked with her lots about baptism. She said that is is something that she wants. Eri has a serious medical problem that just makes everyday life hard for her. It has something to do with her skin. And she has to take all the steroids to help her but it only helps and little and then has all these crazy side effects. At church last week we talked about the priesthood and at our lesson she brought it up. Sister combs and I both felt very strongly to ask Eri if she would want to receive a priesthood blessing. She quickly responded with yes, I want one. So that night we met at the church. Elder ishikawa was the one who blessed her. He gave her such a wonderful blessing. I am never going to forget the spirit that filled the room. Eri was so touched and felt like God really understand her. She couldn't believe all the things that elder ishikawa said. She said he addressed her problems and concerns and worries without her even telling him. She knew that it was because if God that he was able to give her such an amazing blessing. This week I realized how powerful the gospel truly is. The gospel changes lives. It's heals people and helps them when times are hard. I know that the power of the priesthood is real. And I know that God loves every single one of us no matter what. This past week, with studying and teaching I came across a scripture that has a completely new meaning to me. DC 18:10 The worth of souls is great in the sight of God. Even though we might be have hard times in our life, it doesn't mean that God doesn't love us. God knows each one of us. He wants every single one of his children to come back to him! Love ya lots XOXO sister brown
Monday, January 5, 2015
Mom and Dad This week was such a fun week!! So since it was New Years and that is the biggest holiday in Japan we weren't Able to do many things. Most of our investigators were busy and couldn't meet. New Years here is comparable to christmas in America. That's how important it is here. I really like it. People have like an entire week off of work and just spend time with their families. It is something much needed in Japan. But because of that our investigators can't really meet...
So we had on Wednesday a day of cleaning and we literally just cleaned the apartment all day long. Thursday we had Book of Mormon reading day and literally just read the Book of Mormon all day long. And Friday we had a mission conference and guess what... While we were there we got to watch meet the Mormons.
I was also lucky enough to eat lunch at the Dorffs house on Saturday. And oh man. They had amazing food. It was like way good Japanese food mixed with American food! They literally had a huge turkey. So lucky and they made gluten free brownies for me. So nice. Haha
This week we did do lots with Sonpon and her family. On Monday we had a huge birthday party for Yu, her husband. That day he went to Costco with the elders and bought lots and lots of food. It was his first time and he couldn't believe it. Tuesday we also went to their house as well. We did a little follow up about Monday.. It kind of ended in a weird way and yeah... Sonpon wanted us to come over so we did. Then on Saturday we were with them for a little while as well. We went and did some purikura with them. So fun. And then had dinner at their house. Then in Sunday they came to church at ten and stayed basically until three just trying to get to know the members and figure out why this whole church thing is important. Sonpon told us that we are part of her family so she wanted to spend time with us. That made me feel really loved. I am so thankful for them. Lately we have been talking about baptism with them a ton. I know that it is something they both really want. But it's just a matter of when. This week Sonpon told me that she wants to do this whole church thing the rest of her life. She talks about how much she loves it and how much it is already changing her and her life and her family for the good. Now just imagine how much it will change everything after she gets baptized and sealed in the temple. Words truly can't describe how much I love them and how much they mean to me. I know for a fact that we were friends in the pre-earth life. I know I promised her I would help her if she ever needed it. I am so grateful that I have taken this opportunity in my life. I can't believe how much it has opened my heart and my eyes. I love serving the people here in Japan.
I am so glad that things went good at the wedding. I love Lynn she is so cute and such a sweet heart! I am happy she is happy. I am glad the king family party was fun. Sorry it was just you two that went. Next time I will let ya drag me around all the place haha.
Japan is great, thanks for all our your prayers in behalf of my investigators. I can feel them working. I love serving the lord and I love being a missionary!! Have a great week!! XOXO Sister Brown