Monday, October 28, 2013

10.28.13- With Pictures ---FINALLY!!!!

To begin this week, last week I told you we had a surprise... Sister A. Clark was taken from our little family and was exchanged with sister M. Clark! Well, although that was a very hard change I LOVE Sister M. Clark!!! She is soooo funny!! I just LOVE her!

A few fun things have happened over the past week! Sister M. Clark LOVES my Fiona impersonation and.....IT FINNALY HAPPENED!!! I have been waiting for this to happen all 8 weeks I have been out here!!!.............THE ANIMAL IMPERSONATION CAME OUT!!!!! The "Bird" was introduced along with the "starfish" "Floppy Fish" and "moose Charge" and we LOVE THEM.... (OKAY SO MAYBE IT'S ME THAT DOES THEM THE MOST,  BUT .... IT WILL BECOME COOL IF IT'S THE LAST THING I DO!!!!!!!!)

Spiritual experiences this week have been lovely!

-       We met with Heather on Tuesday. We did the 3rd discussion (the Gospel of Jesus Christ) and that turned into the commandments. She has been holding pain for the past 9 years :/ She is common law married. However, not legally, and she knows that's wrong, but her man doesn't want to get married... She also smokes but wants to stop so we will see how everything goes. We have invited her to fast with us.
-       Anyway spiritual part: We were at her house for nearly 2 hours talking to her about her options. When we left we had another appointment so we went to that. During that lesson we got a text from Heather saying, "After y’all left, I prayed to God to show me a scripture, this is what he showed me...  I just opened to this. Moroni 6" this is the just the heading " repentant persons are baptized and fellowshipped- church members who repent are forgiven- meetings are conducted by the power of the Holy Ghost." !!!!! How exciting!!! She didn't come to church and I thought she would, but we know she is progressing!!!

We have met with Chris MANY times this week! We love that man so much! We have had all of the discussions with him except for all of the commandments. So little background-- Chris hadn't smoked in 53 days (own choice, we didn't know him) I believe. But this week, temptation over took him and he  began smoking again. So Saturday we went to his house and he was about to lite a cig RIGHT IN FRONT OF US.... WHAT THE?!?!?! And we were like NO CHRIS...NO!! He said, “I have 2 left…I don't want to waist the money... Anyway, he threw the box behind him, as well as the lit cig. Sister Clark and I went hunting for them and ripped them up... Pretty sure that was the first time I had touched a real cig. He came to church and didn't like it... He liked the people but didn't like the talks... because people weren't enthusiastic. :/ UGH!! HOW CAN WE HELP THIS WARD?!?!?!? WE ASK GOD’S HELP EVERY DAY!
So, last night we went over to his house and committed him to living the word of wisdom. He said for quite some time he has felt a dark cloud around him, so if in 3 days living the word of wisdom, if the cloud goes away he will live the word of wisdom. If not.... then he is going to go back to regular things. So we are praying that it might be in God’s will to take that cloud away and help him feel the spirit. In 3 days we are also going to get him a blessing to help him quit because he really does feel God can help him and he really does want it! So faith!!!

Prayers for these investigators would be great! :)

"The church is true. The book is Blue, and Jesus is a Mormon."  :)

Loving missionary work!
Have a great week!!!!


Monday, October 21, 2013

Letter #6 10.21.13

Hello Friends and Family,
      This week has been a very strange one.... like all the rest of my days here in Brownwood! So lets start at the beginning...

Tuesday was District Meeting! I LOVE THAT DAY! Our district leader and his companions have been collecting tarantulas for the past 6 weeks. Not only do they collect them, but they hold them and play with them... as if they were pets... They brought them to district meeting --- We’re in the CHURCH and they were holding and playing with them. Then they encouraged all of us to hold them.... Needless to say I have a photo of all of us holding a tarantula..... and they didn't bite.... :)

Also, we still don't have the lay-out of the land down--- so we get lost ALL OF THE TIME! We spend a lot of time lost. We went to "May" and Outling Town this week where we went and saw the Crafton’s. They are members :) Great, Great people.. However, we were 40 minutes late to the appointment because we got VERY LOST! Mind you these places aren't very big, but we manage to get lost often!

On Friday night we also went to see another member in Coleman-- about 40 miles away. We also got lost, but turns out we really weren't lost ... we were at the house where she used to live. She just never updated her information.... but she was SO FUNNY!

So, a very strange fact about the world---- people that are not LDS HATE the fact that we do food storage! Like that is one of the biggest complaints from people we teach, and we don't even bring it up!! It's just something they have heard and think that we don't rely on God enough by storing food-- and we need to have faith that God will prepare a way... (Little do they know God has prepared a way and that is by being self-sufficient). Anyway, so Sister Miller (the member) was talking about how she has a room full of food storage and how her sisters (not members) make fun of her having it. Sister Miller said to her, sisters "Well, what are you going to do when you don't have any food and all the stores are closed and you can't get any food?" They said, "Come over here." Sister Miller replied "... "And I will Shoot you with my saved up ammunition!"
It was so much better in person because she has a funny lisp and what not but we busted a gut!

We also met with Chris twice this week! He is doing great!!! He didn't come to church yesterday, but we went and talked to him! He did, however, go to a baptism on Satuday, but his daughter was being crazy, so it was hard to concentrate...... anyway he is golden pretty sure...

So I told Ya'll about David didn't I.... We met him at the park about a week or 2 ago. (I can't ever remember) Well he was AWESOME! We had a great lesson with him last week-- set up another appointment at the park this week! Well, on our way to May we got a phone call from him saying he wanted to meet at our church Thurday to have the second discussion! WE WERE EXTATIC!! THAT IS A PRETTY GREAT THING! So, we went on Thursday and we knew something was off.. So we asked him why he wanted to meet at the church and he said, "I was very disappointed with the park because people were stalking me and taking pictures of me..."(mind you he is acting very skittish) so we went on with the lesson and it was very strange-- like the spirit was there, but he couldn't pay attention to anything we were saying, and he couldn't answer questions and what not... It was weird. When we ended, and David left, our member present asked... “where did you find that guy? He is weird..."

*Fast f:orward to Friday* We are in a lesson with Chris- Chris had to get up to answer the door and we get a phone call, so Sister Dunham answers it (we don't normally do that) It was David telling us that he could not longer meet with us and that he had pressed harassment charges!!! Then hung up... We don't know if he pressed charges on us or on somebody else, but we haven't heard anything yet, so we think we are okay and we told President and he isn't worried... :) so there is that!

Next crazy story! One of the first weeks we were here we were knocking and we knocked into a guy named Mark- He seemed very nice and interested, but his wife was very angry that day so Mark just told us to come back another time. so we tried a billion times.. (Not really) Then this week we were able to talk to his wife. She was in a much better mood! And was very kind! So I told her we would call before we came over and what not. Anyway, so Saturday at about 8:00 we get a phone call- it was Mark! He said he wanted us to come over so we didn't have anything better to do (we were trying formers) so we get there and I had this strong feeling to ask if Judy (wife) was there, but I didn't have time before we went in.. but 1 minute later, Judy come storming in the house---!!!! TELLING US TO GET OUT OF HER HOUSE AND IF WE WANTED TO MEET-- TO MEET ON THE PORCH! (We already knew that, but I now have a testimony of the white handboook!) So we nearly RAN onto the porch! She slams the door and is yelling at poor Mark :( But for some reason we didn't leave. JUDY AND MARK COME OUT AND JUDY IS CUSSING US OUT JUST SAYING TO NOT COME OVER TO A VERY MARRIED MAN’S HOUSE! AND WHAT NOT-- THIS WENT ON FOR 10 MIN I AM SURE... let’s just say every neighbor was watching this fall apart, and we just kept saying we are not here to tear families apart, but we are here to bring them together... Needless to say, I don't think she ever found out Mark called and invited us over.... Then about 30 min later she calls us and said Mark wanted her to call and apologize, so she said sorry--- then cussed us out some more and we are just laughing in our minds because this was so ridiculous..... :)

Anyway! The church is true and I love being a missionary!!!

Love y’all! Have a great week!
Our huge news.. I forgot...
This week was transfer calls week. So Saturday at 11:30 we got our call. We assumed we would be together because it is very uncommon to get changed during training, so we just assumed we wouldn't be moving ... Elder Hold (AP) called and talked to Sister Dunham then asked for Sister Clark :( Sister Amanda Clark (my current companion)  is going to Abaline to switch with Sister Maranda Clark. And Sister Maranda Clark is coming to Brownwood to be our companion... We aren't sure what is going on and I am soooo sad to be losing sister Amanda because we came out from the west MTC together and we have seen each other grow soooo much!
Sister Maranda also came out with us, but she was on main campus MTC, so we didn't meet her...
But I trust God and trust that He knows why sister Amanda is needed in Abaline :( and why Sister Maranda is needed here!


CTR Always

Monday, October 14, 2013

Brinne's Mission Letter 10.14.13

Well, this week has been an interesting one... no bed bug story… but that was a great one :)

My companionship has concluded that we are in the ward of "miss-fit-toys!" In the nicest way possible they are all AMAZING-- Giving people-- they are just a little all...different!

Tuesday, we had zone conference in San Angelo-- that was fun :) It was fun to see Elder Simmons from the MTC! That day we went to a restaurant called Rosas! It was AWESOME! It was Taco Tuesday so we got 3 tacos, beans and rice for 3.99-- that was sooo exciting!! I loved it!
Because Sister Dunham is a Sister Training Leader (she is in charge of the sisters in our Zone) we stayed in San Angelo to do exchanges with those sisters. It was fun to be able to see how everyone else teaches and what not... or how they don't teach..... :/ It was really sad because at first I was put with a sister and we went to go teach a progressing investigator and this sister didn't talk ---like I talked the whole time, and if I didn't, we would sit in silence... she has been out for, I think, 10 Months.... :( Gratefully I have never had the issue of never talking..... :) That was cool!
(Everyone in the Texas Lubbock Mission are mostly in trios) Exchanges were super fun... however, Wednesday night was a a sad night.
We got back to Brownwood and decided to go visit Chris ,the girl who we love so very much!
This was a surprise visit and we had a member with us. We knocked and Chris came out holding the big B.O.M. and she said "I want to give this back, I just don't want to become a part of your church." We talked for a few moments and we knew if she wasn't going to drop us we were going to have to tell her we couldn't keep coming because she wasn't progressing-- but it was the hardest thing ever. Sister Dunham said it was one of the hardest drops she had ever experienced too. We hugged her and said goodbye and then we cried. It was very,  very hard :( I didn't like it :( Then we went to the park and met these 2 boys.... at first we didn't see the bottle of whisky then we saw it... le’ts just say... they were soooo drunk. However, we got their number and we met up with T.J. Saturday. He is going to be baptized! He is awesome!!! (When he is sober) :)

Monica is a little wishy washie... she went to a different church yesterday. That was really sad for us.

Friday was so much fun! We went to a member’s house with the other sisters for a dinner appointment! They are from Panguich, Utah. They have 3 kids and they love to show off their talents. I have never heard a child offer to play the guitar, sing, knit, or dance without being asked!!! So we had a talent show!!! My talent was doing Fiona’s voice off of "a cinderella story" ** Thank you Erica for teaching  me that! It was a hit!*** they LOVED IT! We laughed for a long time! We also roasted mollows!

Saturday we almost got sprayed by a skunk at 6:30 A.M. Luckily we didn't! That would have been dramatic because Sunday we would have had to speak in church and that would have been bad bad bad!

Sunday we spoke in church! We had 1 investigator there!!!! AWESOME! We all spoke on repentance! It was amazing because we saw tears in the congregation. They were all touched. It is a very special blessing and gift we have that we are able to cast all of our burdens on the Lord. I don't think I ever utilized the atonement like it was meant to be used before I got out here. It really is a beautiful thing, we are so lucky.

Throughout my experience out here I have been able to realize how luck I have been to be raised in the gospel, where I never had to go out searching for anything because it was taught right in my home. :) I did take it for granted. But now I realize the blessings and thank my heavenly father every day for that blessing.

Sunday we also were able to go talk to a new investigator. Also named chris --this one is a boy. It was the 2nd time we were able to talk to him! I don't remember if I wrote about him in my letter last week. He has a 3 year old daughter, single dad claims he makes the best ice tea in Brownwood :) Anyway our lesson yesterday was about the plan of salvation. IT WAS VERY AWKWARD IN THE BEGINNING.... AND THE MIDDLE!!! when we got to the resurrection part he was like "OH YEA, THAT’S WHEN THE ZOMBIES COME!!!!! LIKE THE DECOMPOSED BODIES RISE FROM THE GROUND AND THATS WHEN I GET TO DO GODS WILL AND KILL ALL OF THE ZOMBIES!!!!!!!"........................................................................................................................
........................................................(in our minds we are thinking, we are going to just have to drop him he is weird) ........................................................................................
Not quite........... it's actually when your regular body-- not decomposed-- is reunited with your spirit and it's perfect...... and then we go on teaching from there....
I think he still thinks it's gods will to beat up and kill zombies or bad people.... but by the end we could see and he said he had felt something and that what we were saying makes total sense! That was a relief!! 
He then brought up baptism and how at his last baptism he didn't feel anything and how 2 hours later it was like nothing had happened... then he said "I want a John the Baptist baptism"
---- Lets just say my companionship was not expecting that and we were about to pee ourselves with excitement---- because funny story... WE HAVE THAT!!!!! it was so exciting to teach him that through our church he can have that! 
We didn't drop him-- he is great and he is shooting towards Nov. 2nd (Meggie)!!! We are just going to have to work on the WOW with him :) but it will be great!

Anyway that is how that went. I love being out here! iIam learning to love the scriptures and learning how to relate them to my everyday life :) !!!

Why is today a great day?
Because I am a missionary!

Love you all sooo much!
CTR Always
ETTE! (Endure to the End)
Sister Dawes

Saturday, October 12, 2013

PIcture from the first day in the Field with President and Sister Augustin

This picture was probably taken when Sister Brinne Karee Dawes first arrived in Lubbock, Texas on September 9th...even though we just barely got this and  a letter from her mission president today..October 12, 2013:)  I am SURE Brother and Sister Augustin are very busy keeping up with all the missionaries coming out each time. Brinne said there were around 30 missionaries that flew in that day with her. It is so big now that they do not eve go to the mission home or the Relief Society Room....they have to meet in the cultural hall of the church.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Brinne's Letter from 10.7.13

Hello Friends and Family!!

        Thank you all who e-mailed me this week! If I don't respond on e-mail be waiting for mail on Thursday! Just so everyone knows- I receive mail mostly every Monday past 6:00 so I am not able to respond-- so you'll have to wait extra long for it-- but I promise, as soon as time allows on Mondays I will write to you and SEND THEM OUT! So you won't be forgotten! Thanks so much for all the letters!
        This week has been AWESOME! I am just going to start on Thursday because that is when the AWESOME started!!! So... we have this man in our ward (most of our ward is inactive/less-active). He is not active so we went to visit him about 2 weeks ago. We asked if there was anything we could do for him. He said yes, he is going to need help in a few weeks to move his mattress out because of bed bugs and bring a new one in. We told him to just give us a call when he needed us and we would be there! (excited to finally serve someone!) Well Thursday he called us! So we went over- (This guy is in a wheel chair, --his house, I am sure is infested with mold, --its nasty!) So we go into the back room to take this mattress out. ---- *side note* I have NEVER worked or dealt with bed bugs before, --I had NO idea what we were getting into.... NO IDEA!* Anyway, so we get there and he rips some blankets off (It doesn’t look like they have been washed in... ever..) and throws them in a corner.. then gets back in his wheelchair and lets us get to work...!!! We are observing BUGS CRAWLING EVERYWHERE! Sister Clark is about to vomit,… Sister Dunham doesn't look too good either... so here I am trying to put on my big missionary panties--- and I am having a hard time. I take some breaths and Sister Dunham get it (the mattress) up-right... WE HAVE TO DRAG THIS MATTRESS WITH ROUGH HIS HOUSE ---OUT THE BACK DOOR--- AND IT DOSN'T EVEN BOTHER HIM!!! We drag it all across his yard (it's huge) all the way to the dumpster. We compose ourselves trying hard not to show our disgust to the brother. We go inside and prepare to get the box spring. Sister Dunham puts her hand under the mattress then drops it quickly... looks on her hand --she had just massacred a full nation of bed bugs under there and all their juices were on her hand!!!! * I DIDN'T KNOW THIS HAD HAPPENED* So, I pull myself together and lift the mattress up. I SQUISHED A WHOLE COLONY OF BED BUGS, THEY WERE CRAWLING ON MY HANDS-- SO I DROP IT --SHAKE MY HANDS AND HOLD IN THE VOMIT/SCREAM! Then the brother was like, “Hey, I have some gloves-- want those???” YES!!!!! We double layer these laytex gloves-- lift this mattress up and start pulling it outside again. There was an infestation of bed bugs ----it was soooooo nasty.
Sad part of the story: This man is a very humble man coming from humble circumstances. he had been sleeping on that bed for months before he could figure out how to get a new mattress.
He is a great guy and I am so grateful we were able to serve him and get him a new bed (after the bug exterminator came).
That is that story!
Mind you we did that in a dress so we felt yucky! We went home and took showers because there was NO WAY we were going to be able to function well! Then headed off to Abilene Texas to stay the night because Sister Dunham had to go to Lubbock for sister training meeting Friday! So we stayed with Sister Luke, Ethington and a different Sister Clark. Friday, Sister Dunham and Luke went to Lubbock leaving 4 new missionaries together to go work in Abilene!!! That means the Lord trusted us that he would help us throughout the day! And he did!
For most of Friday I was with Sister Clark (2 sister Clarks would be weird) We met and taught a lady at a coffee shop! It was great-- I invited her to baptism. We didn't set a date though. Then we went and "found" at a college campus! THAT WAS SOOO FUN! All of the students are up to listening! So I gave the restoration a zillion times in 2 minutes! Great practice! We then went and knocked apartments- one of the homes we knocked was a middle-aged black man. He said he was Church of Christ --(they are not fans of us!) Then for SOME REASON THE SPIRIT, I GUESS  I started talking about the Book of Mormon-- then he starts arguing, kind of, about who Mormon is then he is telling me that I have to know where he was born and what he did with his life and all this stuff . WE DON'T KNOW ALL OF THAT STUFF ABOUT OTHER PROPHETS!!! Then he was like, I know where Jesus was born and what he did with his life. That’s what y’all need. And we were like, we teach of Christ!!! LIKE MOST IMPORTANT! But seriously, the Bible isn't named the Book of Jesus… ITS THE BIBLE?? Anyway, he then told us that we should consider changing the name of our church (LIKE WE HAVE CONTROL TO DO THAT?) and that we were wrong... Then he asked us if we were upset --like he was trying to make us upset-- and we calmly and honestly said “no”...

I loved seeing how the other sisters would teach and see what phrases they would say as they would teach! It helped me be a better missionary for sure! I also love that more than one missionary a day said, "MAN THAT SISTER DUNHAM IS AWESOME! (They have only met her twice) I WANT TO BE JUST LIKE HER!" At that moment, and always, I was proud to call her my trainer, and I know the lord put us together! I am so grateful! Love her!

Also, during companionship inventory we were doing our “compliment things”, and they were saying things that they were seeing change in me and they were things I had been working so hard on or I couldn't see changing in myself-- but they could! So with that, I know that if I work the way I am-- and try everyday to be better—I will be the missionary the Lord can help and wants me to be!! It was so exciting to hear!

Conference was AMAZING!! We got to go to the chapel and watch it- Chris was supposed to come- Thursday we did a church tour with her and did a lesson in the chapel. She felt so good and said she wanted to be baptized. Then we talked about the WOW and how she couldn't smoke/drink coffee. She was okay with that because 2 years ago she was smoking 2 packs a day and drinking 6 cups a day-- and now she is down to 1 cup a day and 1/2 pack a day. THE LORD HAS BEEN PREPARING HER FOR US! And she was gung- ho about quitting. Then Friday, while Sister Dunhum was gone, Chris left us a message saying she can't join our church and we could come get our "bible" --and that was her final word. In other words, she dropped us-- So Saturday we went and saw her and talked about what was going on. Then she was back on track with us. It was mostly she felt she couldn't quit smoking and didn't want to. Then we invited her to conference. She agreed. Then 30 min before, on Sunday, she called and said she couldn't come. It is a roller coaster with her. I DON'T WANT TO DROP HER! SHE HAS SO MUCH POTENTIAL!! I LOVE HER SO MUCH!
We will see when we go see her tomorrow.
We haven't seen Heather in about 2 1/2 weeks :( and tomorrow we are going to St. Angelo for zone training.) :( so i hope we aren't losing her!

Anyway, this week has been awesome! I hope y’all are well!! Love you so much!