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:  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 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 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 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