Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Dear Families,

We are the Larsen’s.  We  are a senior couple doing education and self-reliance in Port Vila.  For the holiday, Pres. Brewer asked us to go to Tanna to be with the missionaries.  We had a wonderful visit with them.  We had a service project in the morning.  Then we had a buffet lunch catered by a local restaurant.   The missionaries had more than enough to eat.  After lunch we played volleyball and some basketball.  At the end of the afternoon, we gathered to share some council and our testimonies with the missionaries.  And – we gave them any mail or packages that they had from home.  We are sending you some of the pictures that were taken during the day.

Your young men and women are doing well!!!!

Elder and Sister Larsen

Sunday, December 15, 2013

No Room For Contention

I can no belief that it is so close up to Christmas!! Thank you too much for sending all of those pictures of the Santa party! It looks like Santa came to a different house this year!  THOSE PRETZELS look sooo tastey!! Speak of tastey...Thank you BIG one for all of the treats, food, and clothes!! When those cartons of food came I am not even going to lie... my companion and me about cried.  We were so happy!!! And those homemade cookies made my whole laef better!!!! :) I shared them with some of our neighbors and they LOVED them.  One of them told me that when he comes to America that is the only thing he wants to eat! haha.  Thank you too much!!!!!! I can not even say it enough!!! But mother! Sending those cartons is expensive too much!!! I can no belief how expensive it is to send things over here! Sorry so much! But thank you!! And thank you for the shirt and those skirts too! Those skirts are perfect.  The fabric is amazing, and it does really well with the board wash! Thank you big one!!! You are the best!!! We decorated our house with the Christmas stockings and all of our neighbors think we are crazy! Christmas is not a very big holiday over here, and so it was good to decorate to try to feel a little bit like Christmas!

Wow it is weird to hear that it is cold at home! It has been hot bitim every hot this week!! And the volcano has been fired up big one! I have not been able to sleep! haha.  It is great!! Christmas is so close up! I call a week from today to set up our appointment to talk on Christmas!

Please please help Sister P have a good Christmas this year. Please go and spend some time with her, she loves to story! I wish I was there to spend Christmas with her! Bake her some treats, but make sure they are soft because she has a hard time eating the hard ones! But she loves treats!! And a salad! Bring her your homemade spinach salad! She loves that! Tell her I love her and miss her big one!!!

This week we have seen miracles in our branch.  Our branch has really been struggling because of tribal/political fights that have been going on.  It has been really hard to make misisioari work the past couple of weeks.  We  have four Melkezedek Priesthood holders in our branch and they  had all been fighting.  We were able to organize a meeting to  help them all address all of their concerns.  They all started arguing and finally we stopped them and asked them why they thought the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints has that name.  They all shrugged their shoulders and we were able to explain that this church is not the church of Ashanti tribe, it is not the church of John From, it is not the church of one man, but it is the Church of Jesus Christ.  All of the political rubbish has no place in the church.  This church is not for a specific group of people, but it is for all people.  We are all invited to come and partake of the fruits of this gospel.  There is no room in the Church of Jesus Christ for contention.  It does not matter if your side of the fight is right, it does not matter if your grudge is justified, if you have contention  you are wrong.  If you have contention in your heart, you have no room for the Holy Ghost to be there.  After that meeting we saw many hearts soften.  They all still bin got all of their differences, but now they have a heart and eye single to the glory of Papa God.
My tripping problem has not been fixed since I got here.  Embarrassing story of the week:  It was night and we had just bin finished a meeting with our branch mission leader.  All of the men in village had bin making a meeting down on the sun beach down from our house.  The path to our house was right in the middle of the meeting so we decided to go around and take another path.  I was holding the torch trying to light the path for us.  I got embarrassed because they all started looking over at us so I started to walk really quickly.  Apparently I was not looking at where I was going because I was embarrassed.  The next thing I knew I was face down in the dirt in a small three foot rubbish hole... I was so embarrassed.  Some one had dug a big big hole to throw all of their rubbish in to burn and I hadn't seen it and fell face first into it.  And the worst part was...everyone saw because all of the sudden the torch light was gone. After I got up and my companion helped me out of the hole covered in dirt and who knows what.. all of the people at the meeting started laughing!! They all started yelling, "Kaka yu bin faldoan!" haha.  So embarrassing.  

Love you all!!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Someone Call 911

Oh my word, can I just tell you that sending all of those picture of food was probably the rudest form of torture in the entire world? All of the missionaries gathered around my computer and salivated over all of that food. That all looks so amazing.  I am so jealous that you all got to eat and have Thanksgiving. It looks like you out did yourself back again mom! All of the decorations look great! I know how much hard work goes into that, and I am so glad I wasn't there to help! ;) haha joke no more! :)

This week definitely brought its fair share of trials our way.  Papa God is definitely testing our faith and putting us through the refiners fire here in White Sands.  Tuesday my companion woke up at 4 in the morning.  I was tired too much and I thought that she was just going to the toilet, so I just rolled over. All of the sudden she walked over the mirror and I heard her scream, and I mean scream.  I jumped out of bed and ran over to her and she turned to show me a big..something on her neck.  I was a little shocked and I just sungout "What the heck is that?" haha..(yeah I don't think that helped the situation) I got my torch and looked a little closer at it and it looked like a 2 inch long blister sort of thing..but something was inside it.  It was yellow and had little white eggs inside of it.  After my awesome reaction, my companion began to cry and cry because she was fright.  I fastened some fabric around my waist and ran over to house of our neighbors to ask them if they had ever seen anything like that before. They all gave the same reaction that I did and so we were a little concerned. Every time I tried to touch it she would scream...so I just got a pen and marked the ends of the sore so that I could try to track the growth of it.  Thirty minutes later no more the sore had grown 1/2 an inch.  It was hurting her so bad, so I told her that I would ring the mission nurse in Villa.  After explaining the situation, the mission nurse told me to ring the elders and have them come carry us to the hospital.  We waited about an hour and a half while they drove here and then we went to the hospital. Man am I grateful for the hospitals in America now, you would die if you saw what we saw.
We got to the hospital around 10 in the morning and Sister Lutui was in a lot a lot of pain.  I walked quickly around the hospital trying to find where to check in and then one lady said, "the hospital is closed until afternoon" What kind of hospital just closes? Ale..so the two of us just stopped wait until 1:30.  While we were sitting there waiting Sister Lutui began to whimper back again and say that her arm was stinging and burning so bad. I looked down and she had another sore coming up on her arm. This sore was worse beating the other sore.  This sore was an open, sore and pussing.  At 1:30 one man that worked at the hospital came up to us and said, "Sorry too much, but there are no doctors at the hospital today.  We will try to find someone who schooled small to see you two." Are you kidding me? Is this real life? So we waited and waited and finally a man in a dirty white coat came and told us to come back into some room.  He asked to see her sores and then he said, "hmm I don't really know what this is, so I am just going to leave them a lone and have you two try taking a medicine.." Sister Lutui started to cry and that's when Miss Katelyn bossy pants came out..haha.  I said, "Brata, do you think you could try to drain the sore on her neck and dress it to try to relieve some pressure?" He looked at me like I was crazy and said, "si si that is probably a good idea.."  After I said, "And this one on her wrist is red, she has a fever, and it is pussing, I think it is infected.  Do you think you could drain this one dress it and give us an antibiotic?"  He said, "Si si..that is good idea too" haha...are you serious? He wrote all of my instructions down on a piece of paper and told us to wait to go receive our treatment.  We went into the door next door labeled "treatment room".  When we walked in there was a wooden chair and a sink with no soap. One man in basketball shorts came in and asked, "Sistas, what operation am I doing?"  hahaha that is the wrong thing to say..Sister Lutui started to cry and said, "Sister Brown please don't let them kill me.." haha.  Needless to say..she survived!  The "nurse" sent me home with a sterile solution, gauze, wrap, and a syringe to try to drain the wound every day and dress it every day.  I have been up all night every night playing nurse.  She ran a high fever for four days and both of her sores got really really infected.  It was so fun to play doctor!  We went back to the hospital 2 other days this week and finally on Sunday the sores stopped draining and things are looking better now! I pray that I will NEVER have to go to that hospital!  I will attach a picture of one of the infected sores and me making surgery.

I have never been so tired in my life.  I have been able to get sleep 1 hour every night this week because my companion has been sick! But it's all good, because when we went to the hospital in Lenakel we got an ice cream cone!!! A REAL ONE!! I WAS SOO HAPPY!! :) My Thanksgiving wasn't that big this year.  I drew my companion a hand turkey and told her Happy Thanksgiving.  We ran out of food, and the only thing left in our house was a tube of popcorn kernals. We were excited too much to eat popcorn because we have been CRAVING American food!!  I put them on the stove and then went to borrow something from the neighbors. When I came back my companion was asleep and the entire house was filled with smoke. I ran to the stove and turned it off.  After I got tongs to try to take the lid off and when I did flames came out of the pot. Needless to say, my Thanksgiving dinner was nothing compared to yours. Happy Thanksgiving to me I guess? haha.  (Good thing our house didn't catch on fire, we have been out of water for two days...)  haha
On Tuesday this week we also received news that our unit will be shut down for the time being.  There are some tribal situations going on that made it so our unit can not meet anymore. For the time being we are no longer allowed to even proselyte in that area whatsoever.  We cannot even walk about on that side of our area.   We had all of the people that used to attend the unit meet together so that we could tell them the news. My heart broke for all of these people as I told them.  They all cried and cried as we carried the sacrament trays and calico out of the unit.  We cried the whole way home and all of the mama's did not want us to leave.  I know that Papa God is testing the faith of these people and of us as missionaries.  He needs us to sacrifice for a small time and then he will show us his plan for us. It is just so hard because we have worked so hard in this area and had 8 people ready to get baptized this Saturday.  Now we will not be able to do that for the time being.  We have been fasting and praying all week to understand Papa's will for our unit.  I know that the unit will stand back up again.  I know that Satan is working really hard, but Papa God will always win. On Sunday many of the people from the unit made the walk to the Branch to worship.  We all cried as they shared their sweet testimonies of sacrifice.  This week has been a very faith testing week, but I am so grateful for all of these trials that I have faced here.  They are making me tough, and helping me learn patience.  Missionary work is amazing!!! The experiences are experiences that I will never forget!  Thank you for all of the support and prayers!! I hope that you all have a fantastic week!


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Pictures from Whitesands Tanna

This picture was taken yesterday (Sunday) at our unit.  Oh man, my heart is so full.  We had 67 people come to our small unit.  The spirit was so strong.  Last time we held church in our new unit the attendance was 45.  My companion and I have been working hard to get people to come to church.  A few of the priesthood men have been building a small shelter for us to meet in.  The work is moving at a rapid pace in our area.  We have 7 souls getting interviewed for baptize this Saturday.  With faith in every footstep the work is moving! 
We had a baptism on Saturday.  This is a picture of  Mama Dorkis with her two pikininis and Joyce one small girl.  Mama Dorkis had been meeting with the missionaries for years and years.  Her heart finally softened and she decided to be baptized.  We have no water in my area besides the sol water (ocean), so we baptize there every time.
This picture is in the kitchen...oweii oh man... this was taken on one of the hardest days in my mission this far.  If you cant tell I am absolutely SOAKED from the rain and seet seet is on my face.  All of my clothes are drenched in this photo because we had just finished our three hour hike in the rain.  We got to our last appointment and one mama's hands was burned really bad (she couldnt even lift the pot to cook).  I told her that I would cook her and her family their dinner.  I tried my best to find a few things around the kitchen and in her garden to put into a soup and it actually turned out pretty well! They call me chief chef Braon now! haha. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Almost Thanksgiving

I can no belief that it is almost Thanksgiving! It seems like it was just yesterday that it was the beginning of summer and I was getting everything ready to come out here! Christmas is just around the corner...can you belief it? I cant! No one here celebrates Thanksgiving, I think that is an American thing, but I bet that the food will be great and there will be lots of cutesty things because you are in  charge.  I hope that at least one of your two remaining children will help you clean and prepare for the feast! (Good luck!!)  Oh man..Turkey cookies....cookies..haha.  Please eat at least 20 in memory of me! And pumpkin pie too! ;) haha maybe I will try to make a fake thanksgiving here...probably not! ;)  It sounds like every something is going well at the house, I hope that Ben and Liz are helping you a lot.  What was Mason sick with? I am glad that he is getting better!!  I LOVE the pictures! Thank you too much for all of them!!
This week has been great! We have been working really hard in the farther villages in our area so it has been an exhausting week to say the least! Since standing up that unit, we have received a lot of referrals so that means we have had to walk far far far beating far almost every day this week.  On Tuesday and Wednesday this week we left our house at 5:30 AM to go to area and got back to the house around 7 in the afternoon.  On Wednesday a member took us around and showed us three different villages that had never been visited by missionaries before.  They were all so excited to see us, and this gave us a lot of opportunities to teach! Wednesday afternoon we were walking and the volcanic ash was raining so bad that our skin was completely covered. (the ash has been made our hair start to fall out! My hair is thin now!)  We had been walking for three hours and we were exhausted. When we were walking up the last creek of the day it started pouring rain. We had one more person to try to see at the top of the creek.  My companion and me did look at each other about to cry.  For a small second we both wondered why in the world Papa God was doing this to us.. we were trying so hard to make good work.  But then I remembered a quote I had found during personal study.  "The help of heaven requires working past the point of fatigue."  I knew that we needed to show Papa God that we were willing to work past our point of fatigue.  That we were willing to do whatever we could to see his children. We both prayed and prayed that we would be able to make it to the village.  We knew that we were only going to be able to make it with the help of Papa God. When we arrived at the village the people were excited too much to look us and we were able to teach over ten people.  I know without any doubt that Papa God helped us that day and every single day out here in the field.  Without the help of him there is no way that us missionaries could do what we do every single day.  I have seen the hand of Papa God every single day on my mission and I know that as we take time to appreciate his hand in our lives we will see it even more.  Missionary work is amazing.  I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be a part of it! I love it here!! :)
I hope you have an amazing week!! :) :) 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Where We Worship Now


Time flies out here in the islands, I cannot believe it is already November. This week has been amazing! Everything over here is going really well! My companion and I have been making full up progress in the area, and Papa God has been helping us every step of the way.  Yesterday we were able to hold our first sacrament meeting with our unit in Lapangtawa.  Yesterday was probably one of the most amazing days on my mission this far.  We had been working hard to get every something figured out for our unit.  We planned to hold the first meeting at the  house of a member.  We left our house with 1 Melkezidick priesthood leader at 6:30 to make sacrament at 9.  When we arrived to the village there was full up people already there.  They had made a small house for sacrament and they were all waiting for us to start.  We had classes first: I taught all the pikininis for primary, Lutui taught women class and a papa taught priesthood.  After we all gathered into the small house for sacrament meeting. As we sung the first song the spirit was so strong.  Almost every papa and mama in the place had tears in their eyes.  We didn't have sacrament cups so that was interesting, but none the less it was just another testimony to me that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not a church of any man, it is not the church of America, it is the church of Christ.  It does not matter where you worship, but it is about who we worship.  I have never felt the spirit so strong in my entire life.  People got up to share testimonies who had prayed for years that they would have a church in this place.  Papa God is aware of each and every one of His children.  He will always provide a way for us as we keep the faith.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a servant of Him in this place. Missionary work is amazing.  Needless to say this week was nothing short of a miracle. 

Thank you too much again for that package! It looks like packages are doing really well here.  They get here really fast, and I haven't heard of anything getting stolen yet.  I will keep you posted though.  Thank you too much for every something that you guys do. 


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lost In The Bush


First of all can I just tell you all that I love too much all the photos you have been sending! I cannot belief that mason is getting so big! I cannot wait to hear him talk! Teach him the name of me will you? It sounds like Halloween was a blast.  Here in Vanuatu we don't celebrate Halloween, so I missed out on all the lollies this year. The chicken noodle soup and the cookies look amazing! Owiee, I miss meals like that! But belief it or not I can literally eat anything now.  Picky eater no more.  I just eat whatever the people give me, and since I have been sick that has been pretty interesting. It sounds like things at our home are going really well. I love too much to hear about everything! Mom, thank you too much for sending those packages! My family here will love it, and I am sure they will share with me!  I will let you know when I receive it, I thinks that it will take a little longer since the months now are busy sort of. 

So yes, my companion is gone, she went to Vila to rest.  I think that there comes a time for every person where they physically, mentally, and emotionally break down, and that was the time for her.  I am glad so much that she will be able to rest for a small time and then be transferred to a more developed area.  I was sad to watch her go, but oh has Papa God blessed me with one amazing companion! We work well too much together and I love her so much.  My previous companion Sister Natto was quiet small, but my new companion Sister Lutui and I are both so loud and outgoing.  It has been such a blessing to our work in our area.  This week we have been waking up every day before 5 to sketch out plans for our new "group"/unit and we have been walking, walking, go, go. We have been going to areas that missionaries haven't gone in years because they are too far away.  Papa God has been blessing us so much as we have tried the best of us to labor in his vineyard.  We were able to teach over 40 lessons this week and we have a bunch of people ready to receive baptism close up now.  I am so blessed! I love it too much here! Papa God has been working hard hard hard in making these people ready to recieve his gospel and I am lucky too much to be a part of it!

This week Sister Lutui and I decided that we would cover 5 areas in one day.  We left the house at 8 and took a member with us to help us show us the right road because I had never been to Loono village before.  Well..we walked for 3 hours down and up 2 huge creeks and it was raining like crazy when our member we had been taking with us kept stopping and thinking.  Finally I asked her if she knew where we were, she said, "Sister, I have never been on this road before. I don't know how to get to Loono or back to the house of you."  Oh great...we are lost in the bush and my energy is about at 0! It was then and there that my old bossy self came out to shine. We kept walking and the next man we saw I asked him how to get to Loono.  He laughed and laughed and told us that we had missed the road 2 hours ago and would have to go down 2 more creeks to get to our house before dark.  That was my first experience being completely lost in the bush, and from now on I ask the member we take about 8 times if they know where they are going.  

I am so grateful for the chance I have to be serving as a missionary here.  My testimony of the power of faith has grown too much.  I know that with faith in Papa God and His divine power, anything is possible.  He never forgets us his children.  No matter where we are, he is aware of every fasin and action that we make.  He knows what is best for us, and he will show us always the path we need to take.  But this is only possible through righteousness and faith in Him.  I know that sometimes He lets us struggle for a small time to make us stronger. Papa God needs strong soldiers in this last days. Every experience that we receive in this life will build us up and make us stronger.  As long as we do everything we can to follow the Savior in this life, we will reap our rewards: some in this life, and many more in the life after.  

I hope you all have a great week!! Thank you too much for every something that you all do for me.  Pray hard and work harder!! Yolkokakaeek! 
Sister Braon

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Chief

Ramaraskin Amurada Famle!!
It sounds as if the trip to New York was amazing!! I am glad too much that you all were able to go and come home alive!! hahaha.  I cannot believe you forgot to pack snacks! Wanemkinya?! How could you forget the snacks!?!  ;) I guess no vacation without me is ever the same!! :)  I bet that you all shopped until you dropped..cant say that I miss that quite yet!! ;) Wow sounds like you all did the whole 9 yards of New York..you always were a great tour guide!  Your dumpster diving story was hilarious...typical Liz! haha.  I am glad that Ben got to do some manly things while you girls did your girly things!  And tell Bella I am so proud of her and her new modeling career she has going on! I always knew she was a superstar!
I can't believe I missed Sister P's birthday!! I hope that you catered to  her every wish and please send her all of my love!! I miss her so much! I really have been thinking about her a lot! Keep taking care of her for me, and tell her I will come have a sleep over with her when I get home!!
Things here have been nuts! My companion was emergency transferred out because she got full up kidney stones! Man oh man I have never heard anyone scream as much as I heard her scream.  I tried my best to use all my nursing skills, but kidney stones are the pits! Needless to say, I have been playing nurse instead of missionary until Wednesday when she flew out. 

On the bright side, I got a new companion and oiwee she
is the best!! Her name is Sister Lutui and she is from Tonga!! We work from sun up until sun down and it is amazing! Papa God has been blessing our hard work so much!! It is crazy how much Heavenly Father will bless us if we are willing to put in the work required!!! Thursday there was a flood because of the rain and so we just stayed in the house and helped members whose leaf roofs caved in.  

But between Friday and Saturday we taught 33 lessons received 12 referrals and over 6 new investigators.  The work in White Sands is taking off, and it is no where near finished!! Heavenly Father has been blessing us so much and my heart is so full!! This past week we met with a chief and oweii Heavenly Father has been working to soften his heart so much!! He is so ready to hear the gospel, and has agreed to let us come and teach him and his people.  He told us, "Sisters, I have been waiting for the right church to come to my village, and this is it." So this week we will be walking to a village about 3 hours away from our house and teaching about 22 people.  I am sooo excited!! My testimony of waiting on the Lord's timing has grown so much while being out here.  Sometimes Heavenly Father tests our faith and makes us wait small before he blesses us.  But as we work hard and show him how much we want it, the blessings he sees fit will come!
Thank you too much for all that you do!! I apprecaite all the love and support! Have an amazing week!! :)
Yolkokakaeek!! :)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Zone Conference

Dear Sister Brown –
We just returned from the Port Vila Zone conference today. 
It was wonderful – very uplifting and filled with the Spirit.  I’ll let our Sister Brown fill you in on that.
She was wonderful:
  Bore her testimony in beautiful and fluent Bislama
  Helped with training
  Generally was a delight to have around – and helping the other sisters. 

I caught all the sisters sitting together after lunch and got the attached pic.  Thought you might like to have it. 

Elder John E. Call
Office Specialist Vanuatu Port Vila Mission
Cell# 678-555-0122 Office 678-23146
P.O. Box 1412 Port Vila, Vanuatu

Sunday, October 13, 2013


Tarwedelaplapin Mama!
First of all: All the missionaries from Tanna say thank you for the package!!!! That's right, the new missionaries that came in for transfer brought the package to me, and it was all finished within the hour... haha.  THANK YOU SO MUCH for the lollies!!! I miss American candy soo much! I miss licorice like twizzlers and sours and real chocolate! haha I taught my companion how to roast starbursts on the fire and she is obsessed! She saved a stash of starbursts and would roast 2 every morning and talk about how cool it was. Oh man, full up good times here! haha. But yes, thank you soo  much!! And we loved the church news and book as well!! :) Thank you too much!
It sounds like life back home is crazy as usual. Mother on the go go go all the time.  I am sure you miss your boss!! ;) haha.  Mase is getting sooo big!!! Owiee I barely even recognized him!! He is so cute!! Tell Benny congrats about scouts and I sent him a little message! :) But I am not sure if you are in New York or not, but if you are...don't get blown up... you crazies...Out of all of the places in the world you choose to go to the most dangerous!! I hope you all have a great time though!! :)
This week has been kinda crazy! We had transfers and my companion and I stop in White Sands still! I am so glad!!! I LOVE THE BRANCH!!! We have been having full up activities go go all the time to get everyone involved in the branch and it is so fun! So this intake we got full up Utah Elders! Every elder on the island is training a white elder! It has been really...interesting! haha. But anyway! We had a baptize yesterday! These two cute twins Namia wetem Nalia got baptize! They are both 10 and the cutest things ever! The missionaries before were teaching them but stopped because the boys kept running away.  My companion and I worked really hard..and used a lot of lollies to make friends with them and yesterday it all paid off! They really understand the gospel so much! It was amazing!! I LOVE MISSIONARY WORK! Last night the Elders came and got us and we are staying close up to the airport until we fly out for Villa on Wednesday. Zone conference is this thursday and you will never guess what... I got a call from the APs last week, and guess who is giving the zone training? This sista.....I think I am going to be sick...Of course they choose the new white girl who cant speak Bislama well to stand up and give training to the missionaries! Haha.  Blessingya! But on the bright side, when Heavenly Father calls us to do something he also qualifies us.  As I have been preparing for training he has been helping me too much! Am I still going to turn bright red and sweat? You bet! But Heavenly Father needs me to do this and so I am going to suit up and make it happen! On the bright side afta I am going to eat fullup icecream in Villa! Party in the town with flushing toilets and maybe even some running water!!!
The work is moving here in white sands! We  have 7 people that are waiting to receieve baptize when we get back from Villa! We are working hard gogo! I am soo happy!! Heavenly Father really has been blessing me too much! He definitely looks out for all of his missionaries!
Funny bathroom story: I am sure you are sick of these: So my companion and I were going to the toilet late one night.  She was standing outside holding the torch while I went into the toilet.  It was really really dark but all of the sudden these two fat cockroaches fell on me, I jolted and sungout and I fell off the toilet.  10 seconds later after I had already gotten back up and everything my companion casually says, "Oiee Sister Brown, are you alright, or did you fall in?" haha. Got to love the toilets here! :) 

I hope you all have an amazing week!! :) Lavem yufala everyone!! :)

Editors Note:  I am leaving her letter as it was, bad English and all.  I think it's kind of endearing:).  Hope you can still read it.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Swimming In The Jungle

Another amazing week has zoomed by!!! Life out here is amazing!! It was so great to hear about life back home.  GO UTES! It sounds like Mase is growing up way too fast!! It is crazy that he will probably not even know me when i get back!! How is your knee?! Are you behaving and not doing anything too crazy on it?! I am glad you are still going to the rec center! But I bet it is super boring without me right?! ;) 

Sorry my email was so short and I wasn't online for too long last time, but I have a good excuse.  We missionaries have 1 truck per district on the island.  Last week the elders were coming to pick us sisters up and it was raining really hard.  There are no paved roads here so when it rains the roads are pretty crazy.  We waited and waited and they never came.  We rang and they told us that our truck was fastened to the road with 3 feet of red mud.  A sister we were with really wanted to email, so we jumped a truck to town and then had to hurry and send an email and then go to help the elders.  Let me tell you, snow is nothing compared to this red mud.  It was bad news bears.  The elders pushed and pushed and pulled, but it would not budge.  We had to leave it and walkabout and wait until the mud dried the next day.  Needless to say the small email was no blame of me.

Wow I hope I can answer all of your questions!  To answer a few about our living conditions. No you crazy, we do not have running water.  No one has running water, that is a white man thing.. haha.  We have a water line closeup to us that we fetch water from every morning. In the morning I wake up at 6:00 and go fetch water. I fill up two buckets for swimming (showering) and 1 teapot for breakfast and a big kettle for warm water.  My companion likes boiled water to swim with, but I think it takes too long, so I just swim with normal water.  The rule here is: If you can see through the water it is clean enough to drink.  Ours is usually pretty clear, so we just drink from it.  But the office came to inspect and gave us a pump to pump our water.  The trick with the water is that there is a limited supply for the village.  That  means when it is gone it is gone.  The other week we ran out of water so we had to fetch it from a well..that was an experience. 

Our toilet is a hole in the ground. haha.  But! there is a little shelter over it and a toilet seat now! BLESSING! When I got here people could see through the shelter so the nice elders came and built us a new shelter! I was so grateful because making eye contact with people while on the toilet can lead to awkward situations. Mother I cannot believe that you would think we have a truck, we walkabout only. 

I am used to the volcano! In fact, I WENT TO THE VOLCANO ON P DAY! I have such sweet pictures but these computers wont let me send! That is right..Sister brown went to the top of a rumbling volcano!!! I saw the LAVA! No lie, true talk only! The volcano is no biggie now, but the volcanic ash rain.. ughh when it rains volcanic ash it spoils everything! If we leave our clothes out on the line and it rains ash it stains our clothes and all of the sisters told me it burns their hair, but I think it doesn't do that to white man hair because I still have hair mostly.

I mostly wear flip flops everywhere because I try to fit in, but the other day something went into my foot and so now I wear my crocs to climb in.  I forgot all your questions, but basically I AM GREAT!! I LOVE IT HERE!!! I am so grateful to be in Tanna, and Whitesands is amazing!! I love the people, and I love the island life!  

The work is moving along so great!! We have already found full up priesthood leaders for our unit! We have found double digit new investigators that are so ready and willing to learn more about the gospel.  My companion and I are studying the "Church Admin" book every day to try to figure out how to set up the unit effectively.  I never thought I would be learning how to set up a church out here, but it's awesome! We are just working on establishing a center of strength in the area! We could not be more excited!!! The people are SO ready and willing to help! We have 8 people on date to be baptized, and plenty more progressing!! I am so grateful for these people. 
Funny story: So this week I got really, really sick.  At first I just felt crappy and so I got my flashlight and walked to the bathroom, I came back and still felt crappy so I went and got a dish and set it by my bed just in case.  All of the sudden I felt sweaty and I knew I was going to throw up...you know how much I love to throw up.. NOT! An hour later I started throwing up like crazy.  My companion was still asleep and I woke her up with my awful noises of throwing up..haha. She sits up and says, "Sister Brown, are you throwing up?" I was still throwing up and I was thinking.. (No Sister, I just felt like making these awful noises in the middle of the night...) I finish throwing up and she is still sitting in her bed and she asks AGAIN," Sister Brown, did you just throw up?" hahaha... are you serious? I looked at her, showed her the dish and said, "Yeah, I think I might have..." hahaha....to give her the benefit of the doubt, I think she was still half asleep...hahahaha.

I am so grateful for all of the support and love!!!! Stay strong, read the Book of Mormon, and find people that are ready to hear the good news of the gospel!!! Missionary work brings a joy that nothing else will ever bring into your life!! I love you all so much!! I hope you have an amazing couple of weeks!! :)
I love you!!!
Sister Broan
P.S. About the Christmas package, wait to send it because I don't know if we are getting packages right now.  The ship only comes once and awhile to the island, so it may be at the mission office in Vila.  I will check when we fly out for zone conference. 
P.S.S. how are mike and E doing?!
P.S.S.S. Sorry for any mistakes, Bislama is spoiling my English.

The first pictures is me with one of my favorite tongan sisters sister Lutui and two elders serving here on top of the volcano.  That is not snow in the pictures, but vocanic ash! The other one is me standing above one of the areas we hike up and down to. 

Where I Live

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Cake Over The Fire

Taragniuea Famle blo mi,
Island life is sooo amazing.  I am adapting very well, and learning so much every single day.  Last week we had two baptisms and they were amazing!! Mama Tangani and Yane one small boy.  Honestly I have never seen someone change so much in my life (Mama Tangani).  Change is probably my favorite thing I have learned on my mission.  I have learned that change is good.  Through Jesus Christ, everyone has the opportunity to change their lives.  After her baptism we went back to teach her and her entire countenance had changed. There was a light about her.  Usually when we teach her she is very quiet and we can never tell if she is really understanding what we are teaching.  This time was different.  She participated and answered each question with a heartfelt loving answer.  She bore her sweet testimony several different times and the spirit in the hut was literally tangible.  It is amazing to see how real the light of Christ is.  The light of Christ is given to every one of Papa God's Pikinnis, but when we use our agency righteously, a little bit more of that spirit and light is given to us.  Papa God really has been blessing me too much out here.

This week we have been really working hard with our members in the farther villages.  That means we have been walking and hiking/climbing a lot a lot a lot.  Thursday and Friday we climbed up and down all day and then Saturday morning we made our 2 1/2 hour mountain trek to villages in that area.  I was soo sore when I woke up on Saturday from hiking earlier in the week that I really did not know if I was going to be able to do it.  But I knew the people needed me.  We started walking slowly putting one foot in front of the other. We walked for about 45 minutes, and the entire time I was praying to Heavenly Father that I could make it.  Well, apparently He knew I couldn't!  Shortly after this truck pulled up and we jumped in the back and road until they dumped us off! WHAT A MIRACLE!! Heavenly Father answers prayers! Anyway, so like I said we are working really hard with our members in the farther villages.  The reason for that is because they have to walk that 2 1/2 hour hike with all their kids every Sunday so a lot of them can't make it to church.  We had our leaders talk to President about it, and he said that if my companion and I can find Priesthood holders in the area WE CAN SET UP A UNIT! You have no idea how excited I am about this! This is potentially setting up another branch we are talking about! That means that these people would not have to walk so far to come to jos! Did I mention that I am so excited?! But that means that we will have to make the travel several different times this week..but i will gladly run all the way there if it means I can find adults to set a unit up in the area! ahhh!!! This work is soo amazing!!

But guess what!? I think the people are getting used to me!! Well or so i thought until yesterday... We were sitting in the dirt just outside of a primary school waiting for one of our investigators to come out when two mamas came up to me and said, "Sister, school is over, but do you think you could go sit somewhere else? My class is too scared to come out because you are sitting by the gate.."  I about died.  I was trying soo hard not to laugh.  I quickly got up and turned around and sure enough a bunch of little pikinninis were timidly standing up by the school staring.  hahaha oh man...I think I am going to need some more candy to win the hearts of these kids!

OH MY!!! This week I learned how to bake a cake on a fire! So here nothing is sweet at all. Cake is mostly flour with a little bit of cocoa and sugar.  I was dying for something sweet so I started trying to bake a cake.  My companion did most of the ingredients and then when she went outside to fetch some more water I dumped a whole lot of brown sugar and loads and loads of cocoa into the bowl and stirred it so she wouldn't notice.  After we put it in the pot over the fire and she said, "hmm this cake looks a lot more brown (hers were tan)" I quickly said, "Oh no, it looks normal, I think it is just the shadow from the flashlight"  After we tasted it and it TASTED LIKE CAKE! It was amazing!!!

I love it here!!!! it really is amazing!!
Love YOU!!!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

It's A Jungle Out Here

Ow'ow Famle blong mi!

Sorry, sorry, sorry! Things have been absolutely nuts!! Mom, please refrain from emailing the mission office, we got a call from the mission office and I thought someone had died!!! I am alive and well, it is a 2 hour drive from where I am serving to electricity and internet, so I will only be emailing about every 2 to 3 weeks! This email is going to be all over the place because I have so much to say, but I do not have like any time, the internet here is not that great!!

So first thing is first...I am alive...haha.  I am serving in White Sands on the Island of Tanna. I flew from Port Vila to Tanna last Saturday and it was a 30 minute flight on a small plane.  The night before I left I was made aware that I could only bring 20 lbs of stuff with me to Tanna.  Well that was an adventure.  I went through all  three of my bags and decided which things I needed and didn't need, and I boarded the plane with my single bag!  Don't worry mom, all of my other stuff is being stored at the mission office so I can change my stuff out when we fly in for Zone Conferences etc.  So when we were in Vila everyone was freaking out that the only white sister was going to be serving in Tanna.  Yes i stick out! There are 10 sisters serving in the Vanuatu Port Vila mission and I am the only North American Sister.  All the Sisters were scared of me.  I think they thought I was going to be some prissy white girl, but I have definitely proved them wrong.  The area I am serving in right now is one of the most "bush" areas in the mission...hence the no electricity.

So a little bit about my area, I am serving right on the base of a volcano. AHHH!! When I heard that I about wet my pants.  When I first got here I kept asking the people what the plan was if it were to erupt..they laughed and said, "Then we sleep for a long long time.."---------VERY REASSURING...not. The volcano makes loud noises and shakes our house too...The second night I was here I woke up in the middle of the night to the house shaking and making really really loud noises, so I woke my companion up and said, "Sister Natto, the volcano is erupting!" She didn't even budge...I paced the room for a few minutes and then got back in my bed to try to sleep. I have never prayed harder to Heavenly Father to keep the volcano from erupting and burning me to death with hot lava.  I have sorta gotten used to it since then, but Tanna is definietly making a WOMAN out of me!

Oh yeah, my companion is Sister Natto. She is from PNG and this is her first time training.  She said she was terrified and cried when she found out she was training me...yeah I am a monster here..
Things I have learned while here: How to camp!! I will be camping for a year and a half. I mean really camping. The bathroom is a nicely covered hole in the ground. I learned how to shower with a bucket!! No being a picky eater here, I eat what we find and I like it. Heavenly Father must have killed some of my taste buds or something, because I can eat different things! I LOVE IT HERE THOUGH!!! I honestly am having the time of my life.

The language is crazy, but I am working really  hard to master it.  I bore my testimony in Bislama the first Sunday I was here and the kids were laughing so hard---probably because they felt the spirit so strong--- I have already grown to love the people here, they are sooo nice! I honestly would not rather be anywhere in the world right now!!

We are teaching like crazy!!! We have 9 people on date to be baptized at the end of the month, and many more coming!! Everyone here is open and willing to hear the gospel, and they LOVE their families.  They are seriously the most wonderful people on earth.  I can teach simple lessons in Bislama and the kids love making fun of my speech.  The faith of these people blows me away.  They are willing to walk over 2 hours up and down mountains to get to church every Sunday (with a baby on their backs).  They love their religion and have such a deep respect for their Savior Jesus Christ.  I am so privileged to be able to be serving amongst such amazing saints. They are the most humble people I have ever come in contact with in my life.  They are willing to give up anything they have to the missionaries and to their fellow members.  I have been learning soo much from them and my testimony is growing in ways that I didn't even think possible!

Funny story:  So we hiked up to this village and my companion and I were standing there with a member talking to a few recent converts when all of the sudden I looked down because I felt a really sharp pain. I look down and a little boy is BITING MY LEG!! Literally trying to bite into my skin.  It hurt so bad and I jumped so high! haha.  I didn't even know what to do, I could not stop laughing.  His mom grabbed him and said, "Sorry, he thinks you look like tastey white meat!" The member we came with had to hold his arm during the entire lesson because he kept lunging at me. Needless to say, I prayed with one eye open! haha.  Other than that a lot of the kids were scared of me at first.  They think that devils are white so they just stare at me with huge eyes... haha oops.

That's all I can think of for now, but I love all of you soo much!!!! Thank you so much for your support and love, it has helped me soo much!! The work presses on! I love being a missionary, I am sooo blessed!!!!!! :)  HAVE AN AMAZING WEEK!!! :)
Sista Broan

P.S. All my candy I brought with me made me many many missionary friends! They  loved experiencing American candy.  I gave my companion a war head sour candy and she spit it soo far, but she ate all of my licorice! :) They have NO CANDY HERE!!! 

Friday, August 30, 2013

A Little Relief

*I may or may not have written the mission home a very nice letter, just inquiring.*

Sister Brown –
All of the younger elders and sisters in our mission have P-day on Mondays.  But that is OUR Monday – Sunday morning for you. 
Sister Brown is traveling today (Saturday) to her assigned area on Tanna.  Her companion, Sister Natto, promised she would take great care of Sister Brown.  She WILL have e-mail access.  Only 4 missionaries in our mission do not have internet access.  Two of them Elder Mortensen & Elder Passey)  came with Sister Brown.  These two Elders will be serving initially on the island of Gaua – the most remote of the islands where we actually have missionaries serving. 

If you do not receive an e-mail on Sunday (your time), you please let me know and I will personally find her and get her to a computer. 
She should have no excuse, since she has to submit her weekly “Key Indicators” report and letter to the President via e-mail. 

The best (and only) way to get mail to her is to send it to the mission home:
            The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons)
            Vanuatu Port Vila Mission
            PO Box 1412    -     Vila Mall
            Port Vila
Mail takes 2 – 3 weeks to get here.  If you choose to send any packages, usually the best is to use US Postal Service Int’l Flat-Rate boxes.  Medium size is around $70 and Large about $85.  IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT ON THE VALUE DECLARATION SHEET FOR VANUATU CUSTOMS,  YOU PUT THE VALUE OF LESS THAN $100.  IF THE VALUE IS DECLARED FOR OVER $100, THEN THERE IS A 100% IMPORT TAX – WHICH SISTER BROWN WILL HAVE TO PAY. 

We appreciate having your daughter here with us.  She was a great help to me on Friday, demonstrating for amny other elders and sisters how to complete the application for a bank account.  She already has Vanuatu drivers license, although we keep it in the safe in my office (along with her passport and original of her visa) until she is designated to drive.  We especially appreciate the years of example and training that you have done to prepare her to serve.  She seems to me to be a fine young woman, and has already grown in the mission.

Elder John E. Call
Office Specialist Vanuatu Port Vila Mission
Cell# 678-555-0122 Office 678-23146
P.O. Box 1412 Port Vila, Vanuatu

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Made It

Halo famle!

I made it here to Vanuatu! This has already been the craziest experience of my life.  I don't have a p day here this week, but I will next week probably?  The first thing President said to me was, "Sister Brown, we have been anxiously waiting for you! You are the only North American sister serving outside of New Caledonia. You are in for a treat." hahaha you can imagine my anxiety level...people have been making bets about me since they heard I was coming! I will tell you more next time I email! I am alive!!!! And happy to be!! :)

Love you!!!
Sista Broan

Monday, August 26, 2013


Dear Sister Brown –

Your daughter, Sister Katelyn Brown, has arrived safely in the Vanuatu Port Vila Mission, and has been assigned to the White Sands, South Tanna Area. She looks happy and excited to be here, and appears to have survived the travel well. We look forward to serving with her in this important work.

We ask that should you have a change of address, phone number, or email, to please let us know so we can continue to keep you advised of her progress .You can send this information  via e-mail to our e-mail address:  1802437@ldschurch.org  or to

Vanuatu Port Vila Mission
P.O. Box 1412
Port Vila, Vanuatu

Attached is a photo of your daughter with President Brewer and her traveling companions as they arrived at the mission office. We look forward to a wonderful association with your fine missionary daughter.

---Sister Call
Vanuatu Port Vila Mission Office


We didn't receive an e-mail from Kate today because she is on her way to Vanuatu!

Meagan and I talked with her briefly last night before she took her 10 hour flight to Fiji.  She seems really happy and good.  Maybe just a little tired from traveling.

They asked her to speak Friday night in her ward in Baltimore on Sunday.  She felt a little overwhelmed needing to pack for Vanuatu, and write a talk in one night but she did it!  My the things kids learn to do on their missions!

She loves her mission President and his wife and the people of Baltimore.  She will miss them!

I have heard through a missionary mom Internet site, that the missionaries in Vanuatu only e-mail or write every two to three weeks.  I'm hoping that they are misinformed.  Hopefully, I won't have to fly to Vanuatu to straighten that out:).

She appreciates all the love and support from everyone!  Thanks for writing her!  

Monday, August 19, 2013

Last Hurrah

Hello Family!
First of all, I love the pictures!!! It is soo great to be able to see what you guys are all up to and see how big Mase is getting!! It is ridiculous! What a cutie! The birthday party was absolutely adorable! Great job Meg! And Benny your fish was soo cool! Typical Liz face...what a girl!! ;) I am so glad you are all doing so well! :) So I guess the cat is out of the bag...someone spilled the beans about my visa! haha. I found out on Tuesday and I am so sad! I am so sad to leave these amazing people that I have met here. However, I know that someone else is in charge! And so I am soo excited!! I can't wait to see what Heavenly Father has been preparing for me in Vanuatu! :) So here is the downlow as far as I know so take notes! ;) (I love finally feeling like the boss again!) I leave Sunday night at 6:00 pm Baltimore time (you do the math..because I don't know how!) I am assuming that I will have a few lay overs in SLC LAX or PHI. So...that means that I will be calling Sunday late at night or Monday? hahaha. Sorrry I cant be more specific, but I don't have any other information. All I know is that it is about 36 hours ish and so we will lose a whole day.  So word to the wise: if you would like to chat keep your phones on loud please!! :) I will be calling from a pay phone! haha and this will be the last time to talk until Christmas so PICK UP THE PHONE! Yeah Ben and Liz that means YOU!! :) haha.

This week teaching wise was pretty slow, but serving and loving people wise was crazy!! I think that sometimes Heavenly Father just needs people to help love His children, and that is what we have been doing! We had soo many great experiences of friendshipping less actives that hadn't been seen within the past 20 or so years.  It was so great to be able to just talk with them and get to know and love them. It is crazy as a missionary how fast you can grow to love someone! We would only spend about 40 minutes with them, but by the end I just felt this great love for them and I know that it was the love of their Heavenly Father for them.  We have been given many different opportunities to just help people bear their burdens.  I truly have come to know what Mosiah 18:8-10 really means. This life is not easy, and people go through such hard trials in their life.  It has been such a blessing to be able to help people here. Through service and even lending a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear, we have been able to show many different people how much joy the gospel of Jesus Christ can bring into their lives.  I have watched the countenances of these people change as they come to know that Jesus Christ knows what they are going through and that they really do have a loving Father in Heaven.  It is amazing how serving people really helps  you develop such a great love for them.  I love the people I have been able to meet while serving here.

So Friday as you have already heard, we went to the Orioles game!! IT WAS SO FUN!!!! haha.  Usually baseball is kinda boring to watch, but it was SO FUN! The entire mission got to go out and we had two interesting rules: no hugging, and no proselyting. haha. We didn't even know what to do with ourselves at first.. it was very different! But it was great! And I even was able to find some black and orange to wear to the game! A lot of the missionaries sat right together so we just talked and talked the entire time! It was a blast! My camera was dead, but Sister Mortensen was able to get a lot of pictures that I will send! AND THE BEST PART IS... DRUM ROLL PLEASe.... I got to get a hot dog with nothing on it but mustard!!! :) :) It was amazing! I enjoyed every second of it!! We sang baseball songs and laughed all night. And we had a 12:00 AM curfew...hello rebels! :) haha. Don't ask me the score though..because I wasnt really paying attention just enjoying the opportunity to be loud! :) I just know that we lost! Oh well!

Oh yeah! Guess what!?! Our recent convert Elham is going to the temple on Saturday to do baptisms for her family members that have passed on! This is sooo cool because she is from Iran so she has soo many people that haven't had their temple work done.  Even though family history is really hard to do for people from there she found a few names! And we get to go with her to watch! I am soo excited! What a great going away present!! :)

The work is amazing!!! I have had the most amazing time here in Baltimore, and I can't wait for the next part of my mission in Vanuatu!! The gospel is the same wherever you go because Heavenly Father loves and is aware of all of his children! :) I love you guys soo much! And I hope you have an amazing week! The church is true! :)
Sister Brown
P.S. Before I came to the library I had my first and last 10 piece from McDonalds. IT WAS AMAZING!!! People that say McDonalds is gross are nuts because it was amazing!! :) 

Kate at the Orioles game.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Dear Parents,

The Visas for your missionary have arrived in our office as well as their travel documents.  They will leave Maryland Sunday, August 25, in the evening arriving in Los Angeles before their overnight flight to Vanuatu.  The Mission President will inform them today but we wanted to pass along this information so you may adjust your schedule for mailing.  We have loved having them here – they have all been outstanding and I am sure will continue their devoted service.   Thank you for supporting them.

Sister Pascoe
Secretary, Maryland Baltimore Mission

Monday, August 12, 2013

Hastening The Work

Happy Monday Everyone!

Benjamin Hunter Brown and Elizabeth Nicole Brown: TAKE CARE OF YOUR MOTHER!!!! Try to feed her at least every 12 hours!!! ;) But really!! Take care of her!! Mom, I am soo sorry that you have been sick! That sounds awful!! I hope that the medicine helps and you can get better fast! STAY DOWN! I know you and how you have a go go go personality, but you need to take it easy or you are never going to get better! If you don't stay down I am going to have Meagan and Sarah come over and tie you to the bed so you have no option.  I hope that at least Bella is doing her job and taking care of you! :)  Please send me Sister P's address I would love to write her a letter!! I love her to death and tell her hi from me and give her a big ol Kate hug for me! :)  Sounds like everything else is going pretty well in B town though! I sent Mase a birthday letter so I hope he can read it!! :) Tell E that I'll be at her farewell in spirit and I know she will do a fantastic job!!!! Thank you so much for that talk from President Eyring! I am trying to print it once this person next to me stops printing like a book or something! And that is so awesome that they are running out of names at the temple! That means that the youth of the stakes/wards are doing their jobs!  THAT IS AWESOME! I love hearing from you! Keep on being amazing!! :)

So this week was....great!!! hahaha.  We had a fantastic zone conference! It was really sooo much fun! We got instructed for awhile and we had a few recent converts bear their testimonies! The spirit was so strong, and the training we received was so inspired!  As my companion and I applied the training, we were able to get a lot of referrals and had many less actives come to church yesterday! The Lord always blesses us when we strive to grow! We have been focusing a lot this week on showing the members the hastening the work website! It is amazing! For family home evening tonight you should take a few minutes and visit hasteningthework.lds.org and check out the videos! They focus a lot on how members and missionaries need to work together to bring souls unto Christ! I never realized how essential it is to use members to find people to teach until I came out here.  While I was back home I thought that sharing the gospel with others was way too scary! But I have learned that when we share the gospel with our friends and family members we are just doing it out of love.  We should want our loved ones and friends to enjoy the blessings and happiness that come from being a part of this great gospel!!
My bad luck with cars has followed me onto my mission! haha. This week we got into a smallish accident with someone that spoke little to no English.  It was really interesting to say the least! I felt really bad for him because he didn't have any registration/insurance and couldn't find his drivers license.  The best part was... IT WASNT MY FAULT THIS TIME!! haha surprise!! I don't even drive, but still it felt soo great to not be on the opposite end this time! ;)  I don't know if I told you, but I got drug by an investigators car!  It was probably the most terrifying experience in my entire life.  I am not really hurt at all, my ankle is a little sore because it was twisted under the car a little bit, but other than that I am just extra cautious when it comes to getting in and out of cars! Heavenly Father definitely blessed me by allowing me to not get hurt!

I hope that you all have an amazing week!!! Invite someone to church, and try to be an example to those around you!!! :)  I attached a picture of the cutest little baby named Zamira.  She is 3 months old and I just had to share her cuteness! I also attached a picture of my companion and I...we struggle a little bit!! haha. I love you all!! And I hope you start feeling better Mom!! :)
I love you!!!
Sister Brown

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Fish Bones


It sounds like you had a great 24th of July!! I can't say that I am sad that I missed the shopping trip...yuck! ;) I am sure that everyone missed me finding the ugliest things in the store though! ;) haha. But I am sad that I missed the annual midnight McDonalds run with Ella at the sleepover!! Bummer!! I still haven't gotten to get some nuggets from McDonalds here yet, I guess I will have to change that pretty soon! :)  I have worn the same pair of shoes every day since I have gotten out here! But hey, they are sooo comfy now!! haha.  I love them though, they are the only flats I will probably ever wear in my life!! So I think I am alright with shoes..until September.  If I don't get my visa before fall/winter I may be toast!  I heard that it gets freezing and my companion has a full on trench coat in her closet, so I definitely believe her when she says it gets cold!! haha.

First of all....PREPARE TO BE SOOO PROUD OF ME AND SURPRISED!!!! So this week we went to a Sister's house from Nigeria for dinner.  She is a less active in the ward that just barely started coming back! She is straight up African...literally.  She is from Nigeria and came over here about 4 years ago! So before we even went over there Sister Mortensen was telling me horror stories about the food she has eaten over there before.  One time she fed her agoosie soup (spelled that wrong for sure) which consisted of cow intestines and a bunch of other stuff..I stopped listening once she said cow intestines.  I am a firm believer that intestines of any sort should not be consumed by humans. So anyway, I was sooo freaked out!! In case you have forgotten I am a rather particular eater, and I do not eat any fish at all!!  I knew that I needed to eat whatever she cooked so I wouldn't offend her however.  We walked in to her apartment and it smelled great!! We went back into the kitchen and there was a LEGIT FISH on each plate minus the head!!! I am talking scales, fins and all!! I didn't know what to do.  I looked at it and started praying, "Heavenly Father I know I have to eat this, but you are going to have to make all my taste buds not work for about an hour or so..."  Anyway so then she rolls this stuff out of a plastic baggie that looks like a brain.  It was called mou mou or something.  I about died....I turned to our host with big eyes and said..."So is it healthy to eat brain too?"  She looked at me like I was crazy and said, "Yes, Fish brain is very healthy, especially for infants!"  I knew the brain sitting on my plate was way too big to be a fish brain and so I said, "Sister, what kind of brain is this?"  Her and all of her African friends about rolled on the floor laughing...She said Sister Brown, that is not brain it is mou mou...(yeah, because I know EXACTLY what that is! ;)) haha she explained that it is ground up beans and some other stuff! I relaxed a little until we started saying the prayer for dinner.  I took a picture of our meal it was fresh cat fish, rice, and mou mou.  I prayed soooo hard the entire time!
this Sister loves cat fish! She sat there and watched us eat as she sucked the bones of her fish dry.  I ATE IT!!! Very very slowly and drinking about a gallon of grape juice while I did it, but I did it!!! haha.  I don't know how I am going to survive doing that every day on the islands... haha.
But wait!! That is not all!!

On Friday we took one of the recent converts in our ward Elham to Sister Burgoyne's for lunch.  So just a little background..Sister Burgoyne is about the healthiest person I have ever met. She is completely organic, makes her own salad dressing, grows her own food etc... So we get there and she was like.."We need to have some girl food!!"  hahaha You know how much I love...girl food. (Is it even considered food?)  She put together this beautiful salad consisting of spinach, fetta cheese(is that real cheese?), tomatoes, herbs, and homade girl dressing! I was like...here we go again! hahaha.  But I didn't want to be rude and so I ate a small plate of it!! IT WAS A MIRACLE!!! But seriously, I am grateful to have meals from a lot of the members! They are wonderful!! Look at me growing up eating girl food and fishies! ;)  After lunch we had an amazing lesson with Elham and she is going to the temple before transfers!!That means that a girl that was Muslium 2 months ago is going to be able to do baptisms for her deceased family members! And we get to go!! I am sooo excited!!

You asked about Debbie, so here is an update: She will not pray!!! No matter what we do she will not pray.  We know that there is no way that she can receive an answer for herself unless she prays so we have been really trying to help her develop that desire to pray.  Finally this week we tried a different method:  During studies we decided that we were not going to leave Debbie's house until she prayed.  We were going to be stubborn.  So we get to her house at 8:00 and have an amazing lesson then ask her to offer the closing prayer.  She of course refuses and we just kinda wait...and wait...and wait..we ask again...she wont...so we wait.. Finally one of the members with us said, "Debbie I don't think they are going to leave until you pray!" Debbie smiles and looks at the clock and says, "Well.. I know they have a 9:00 bedtime, so I will just wait.." What a stinker.  We had to leave, and she thought it was hilarious!! We keep praying for her, and I know that she will develop that desire in the Lord's timing. 

So we had an interesting miracle this week! Will is a less active who was baptized about 7 years ago and is all about the worldly life! He loves his big muscles, huge alcohol counter, smoking, and shooting guns! He owns his own realty business, and loves his money!! He told us how the other day while he was gambling he was 38,000 dollars in the hole and couldnt stop because he is addicted!  Needless to say he loves all of his worldly things a lot more than any religious activities.  The saddest part is that he knows the gospel is true.  He has such a strong testimony that all the things that he is into are really bad for him and are of the devil.  But he thinks he is just too far gone.  Anyway we were with the elders on teamups and so there were four of us there.  As we were leaving we asked him if there was anything we could do to help him.  He said, "Well, I am trying to work from home and my internet isnt working"  One of the Elders that was with us said that he probably knew how to fix it and would take a look.  Will was SOOO excited! He said, "If you guys can fix this, I am coming to church!!"  (he probably said this because he was confident we couldn't do it!)  So that poor Elder was back in that computer room for a good twenty minutes....he had no idea what he was doing. We were out there just praying and praying that he would be able to figure it out!! All of the sudden we heard some swear words from Will and Elder Coker came out with a big grin on his face.  Will said.."Well shoot...What time is church??" We were soo happy!!! It just proved to us that Heavenly Father is so aware of all of the details in our lives.  If we turn to Him in everything that we do (even the silly things) we will see miracles!! Heavenly Father never ceases to amaze me!! :)

I love being out here! I have seen soo many miracles, and so many people's hearts be softened! I hope you all have an amazing week!! I love each of you and pray for you often!! :)
Sister Brown