Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Hello :)

November 30, 2014

P-day is busy and we only get 60 minutes of computer time, but don't stop writing letters. Thank you so much for the cookies and the Thanksgiving box, it is so cute! We all appreciated all of the snacks, and the garland was super cute! The cookies were enjoyed by my whole district. A sister going to Latvia said to send more, her name is Sister Addison. I hung the Thanksgiving box on our residence door, our door is right next to the stairwell so everyone could see it as they walked by. I heard one sister say somebodies Mom loves them!!! :) Unfortunately, I didn't get to go to the temple this week, this will be the first week since I got my endowments out, sad!!! :( Fortunately, they are still letting us email and do laundry whenever we can fit it in. My schedule really isn't that exciting on a regular day, most of the day I am in a classroom. Thanksgiving was surprisingly fun. I thought it would be a hard, emotional day. The activities kept us distracted and having fun. We went to choir practice first thing in the morning, and then we got to sing for the devotional right after that. The choir sang for the first time ever "Come Thou Fount." It was amazing. We heard from two different apostles this week, on Tuesday we heard from Dallin H. Oaks, and on Thursday we heard from David A. Bednar, they were super good. Elder Bednar did kind of a question and answer thing, both devotionals were broadcast to all of the other MTC's around the world, so we were broadcast as the choir when we sang, I was seen all around the world. We then did the Q&A session where they handed out cell phones and told us to text our question, it was pretty cool. We then did a Thanksgiving program where a few people performed and then they told a funny story about the history of Thanksgiving. We then did a service project where we put a lentil casserole for children who don't have food, it was really fun. Then, we watched Meet the Mormons, which I was super excited because I was hoping they would show that movie. My companions are good, but super quiet. I thought whoever would be my companion would be my best friend by now, but it is a little harder than I thought. I guess this is just Heavenly Father teaching my something. That is crazy you guys got stuck in an elevator in the temple, I am glad you are all okay.

Sesuo Brown

Mailing address:

Sister Brianna Liane Brown
2007 North 900 East Unit 69
Provo, UT 84602

(Letters can be sent for free on dearelder.com, just put a return address and her MTC address-double check before sending- and the letter will be delivered the same day!)

Extra pictures of Brianna's Thanksgiving gift from mom, it was a hit!

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Labas šeima ir draugas,
(Hello family and friends)

Linda K. Burton spoke to us on Tuesday evening. It was wonderful. She asked us to sing the primary song "He Sent His Son," the Spirit was really strong. She read in Ether about the Jaredites journey in the barges to the promised land. I instantly related with the story. She said she read this the day she arrived in Seoul, Korea. When she read this she felt as the Jaredites felt arriving in the promised land. In the story it talks about their journey and how they were protected, and all the way there they were singing praises to the Lord. I thought about my journey, and if I have been singing praises to the Lord. For the most part I am just super impatient and am ready to just be in my mission teaching people, but I need to remember that it is all about the journey to that point, and my attitude. I need to sing praises unto the Lord. At the end of her talk she told a story about these two young twin boys who had just learned to ride their bikes. They were riding, and probably going a little too fast, when one of the boys fell off of his bike. He was crying and hurt when the other little boy jumped off of his bike and ran over to his brother to give him comfort. The unhurt boy then began to try and carry his hurt brother inside, which was not an easy task since they were the same size. They finally got inside and when asked why the unhurt boy was crying he said that his brother was hurt. When one hurts the other hurts, and he brought him home to be healed. I really loved this story, that is our purpose as missionaries, to bring others home to be healed.

Sesuo Brown

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Dear Family,

I really appreciate all of the letters, love, and support. I now expect to get this many letters every week. :) Thursdays are my P-Day here at the MTC, so you can expect a letter from me on Thursday each week. The schedule was really rough for the first few days, but they are right when they say "just make it to Sunday." We are in class most of the day except for meals, bed and gym time. I really get sick of being in the same classroom all day, it is almost like prison, but maybe a more spiritual prison. Mostly we don't have a teacher there, it's mostly independent study, which is hard for me because I don't know how to teach myself the language. Our Lithuanian teachers are Brother Erikson and Sister Fish, and our other teacher that is kind of filling time for Sister Fish is Brother Carver, since Sister Fish is still in training, but I am pretty sure she is our "investigator." I have four sisters in my class who are also my roommates, their names are Sister Madison and Sister Bestenlenger, who are companions, and then, there is me with my two companions, Sister Hubert and Sister Lee. Sister Lee is from Fresno, California learning Malay and going to Singapore/Malaysia. Sister Madison and Sister Hubert are from Idaho and Sister Bestenlengher is from Vernal. Sister Lee is a solo sister, she is the only one in her class.

Gym time is something you begin to look forward to when you have to sit in the classroom all day. Gym time is about 45 minutes, I don't every really know what to do during gym time. I usually run a little and then use the elliptical, then do an ab workout, one time I played basketball. Most of the time I don't really know what to do with the time.

The food here really isn't that great, I don't know what all the hype was about. I thought that maybe I wouldn't gain any weight, maybe even lose weight, but the food is super unhealthy and they do not have a lot of vegetable and fruit options, so I may have gained a little. Sunday was my favorite day so far, we got to break away from our regular routines a little bit and have devotionals. First, we had Relief Society, but before Relief Society began we got to watch "Music and the Spoken Word." Bonnie L. Oscarson came and spoke. I thought that was pretty neat. She talked about all the different missions members of her family have been on, which was a lot of missions, and what they learned from their experiences while on their missions.
  1. Importance of giving your mission your full and complete effort.
  2. Put the world behind you.
  3. You are not alone in this work
  4. Love the people in your mission
  5. Power of fasting
Next, we had Sacrament meeting where everyone in the Branch, which is quite small, has to prepare a talk for each week's topic, then they pick two people to give them. This week the topic was baptism. They told us it will be good to have these talks prepared in case you have to speak unexpectedly. All the talk has to include is a scripture, a personal experience, and your testimony. We then went on a temple walk where we could bring our cameras and take pictures. I really enjoyed that. I never thought the Provo Temple was beautiful, but now that I have seen it close up and went inside today, I have a different opinion. We then had a Sunday Devotional where Spencer J. Condie and his wife spoke to us. He was really funny, he did great impressions of the other apostles and prophets. 

"The Holy Ghost is the testifier of truth, it can teach men what other men cannot."
-Gordon B. Hinkley

After the devotional we got to choose a movie to watch out of the options they gave us, we chose to go to the "Character of Christ," by David A. Bednar, which was given at the MTC for a Christmas devotional a few years back. It was probably the best talk I have ever heard. He talked about how the character of Christ included how he would, even in the hardest of times, turn outward rather than inward like we would all tend to do. We would feel bad for ourselves and want others pity, but Christ turned outward and would not think of himself, and only served others. He compared the natural man to Cookie Monster, and he just wants cookies right now and then stuff it in his face, and then wants more.

"Lose yourself in others and you will find yourself, if you are looking to find yourself you never will."
-David A. Bednar

He told a story about a woman who was in his ward who called him up one evening and asked him for a favor. She said there was an accident involving three young women in the ward, one was dead and the other two in critical condition. She wanted him to go to the hospital and identify the girl who had died. He could then hear they she had another phone up to her other ear, and he could hear the nurse tell this single mother that the girl who had died had been positively identified as her only child. The woman then automatically told Elder Bednar that they needed to find out who the other girls were so they could let their mothers know. She selflessly was concerned about the other mothers in this hardest time in her life. She later, before the funeral, called up Elder Bednar and told him that the funeral home had done a beautiful job, but they were going to have a closed casket, so if he wanted to come to the funeral home and see her before the funeral so that he could have a better memory of her, he could. Then, the morning of the funeral, this sister, who was the Relief Society president at the time, received a call from a sister in the ward who chewed her out because she had had a cold for two days and no one had brought her a meal. So, this sister, before her daughter's funeral, made this sick sister a meal and dropped it off before the funeral, without mention of what she was going through. This talk made me want to be a better, more Christlike person, and turn outward, especially when it's hard. 

On Tuesday, I was able to sing at the devotional in the Choir, we sang "Praise to the Man." It was amazing being in such a large choir. The language is tough, but it is coming along slowly and surely. I have trouble with remembering words that we have already learned. I have been trying to do flashcards. Advice for future missionaries: Don't arrive as late as I did. When I got there everyone was already in their first class. They gave me my badge and started to take me to class late, but we didn't get far when the girl happened to double check what language I was speaking. Apparently, there was some miscommunication along the way about my mission language changing, so then they had to figure that out. I had the wrong language on my badge and everything. So, they finally figured it out and took me to class way late, where the teacher was only speaking Lithuanian, and he was asking me about why my badge was wrong and pulling a desk and chair out for me to sit. It was embarrassing. 

We had to teach our first "investigator" in Lithuanian on Saturday, and we have already taught her two more lessons since. We basically just read the lessons that we write in Lithuanian. Mom, will you send me the addresses for the thank you notes so I can write and send them next P-Day? Or, you could just write and send them for me. ;) I got to go do a session at the Provo temple today, it was beautiful. Our scheduled time was 7:00 in the morning, I almost fell asleep. Afterwards, we ate at the temple cafeteria, which was delicious. 

I heard about Cailin stepping on a rusty nail, did she have to end up getting a tetanus shot? Is Ethen feeling better yet? Did he finish his foosball table? I will need pictures. That's cute that Cailin already cares what boys think, you better watch out Jen and Cade. :) I can't believe Ethen is already touring his first college, that's Crazy!! I hope he had fun. I loved all the notes and pictures, keep them coming. :) Jen, you will get the store under control, it just takes time to figure out what system works best for you. I knew Jen was going to get that calling! I liked getting mail throughout the week to read. I really appreciated your text message Jarom, it was probably better that I read it now then before I left. Kaylee, the beds are not comfy at all, I have hardly been sleeping, but don't worry about me, I have been using my oils. Kaylee, Ethen says you are posting weird things on my Facebook, stop it! Cailin, I hope I do come home speaking Lithuanian! :) Don't expect all of my letter to be this long. :) I love you all and hope you all stay safe. 

Sesuo Brown

P.S. No pictures this time, I cannot figure out how to get them on here from my SD card.

Later, in another email...

I asked an Elder and he helped me, so here they are!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

First Letter!

November 6, 2014

The last few days have been crazy.  They told us to write a letter home to share our first day experience, but since I didn't have time the first day I am writing it on the second day.  So, after I arrived I went to the information desk and they gave me my card to get me into meals and all the buildings. We were not supposed to lose this card, but I ended up losing it along the way.  They directed me where I should go and get my name tags.  I got my name tag and an escort was taking me to what was left of class when she asked about me speaking Estonian, I then told her I was actually speaking Lithuanian.  So, she took me back where a few phone calls were made to find out where the disconnect was, they had no record of the change. They eventually figured it out.  They took me to class where I was late and it was super embarrassing.  The teacher was only speaking Lithuanian and I had no idea how to understand him.  After that class all of the new missionaries with an orange dot (dork dot, means we are new) met for a welcome. I have two companions, Sister Hubert, and Sister Lee is a solo sister who joined our companionship, she is going to Singapore speaking Malay.  They both are nice and kind of shy.  We then went and ate dinner.  The food here isn't that great so you probably don't have to worry about me gaining weight.  We then went to a workshop called "People and Our Purpose," where they brought investigators who are either actors or real investigators. We had to teach them as a group of about 35 people, it was really difficult.  Everyone was going off in every which way. We then went back to classrooms to wait for our zone leaders to pick us up.  They picked us up and took us where we could all sit and get to know each other.  It was a very full day, so I was tired. We finally got to go to our residence (at 9:30), where we could unpack and get ready for bed.  Quiet time begins at 10:15, but I was so busy unpacking I didn't get any.  Today was just as busy as the first day. We learned that we are supposed to teach an investigator on Saturday in Lithuanian.  I am super nervous, I do not feel I know the language well enough, but I know that if I rely on Heavenly Father He will help me.  The Spirit is strong here in the MTC, it is wonderful.  I hope all is well at home.

Sesuo Brown

P.S. My address changed slightly, so take notice on the envelope.

New address:

Sister Brianna Liane Brown
2007 North 900 East Unit 69
Provo, UT 84602

November 5, 2014

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

My Testimony

I am about 12 hours from entering the MTC on my amazing Baltic Mission adventure!  I wanted to share my testimony before entering and to start this blog:)

I know that my Heavenly Father has chosen for me to serve the Lithuanian people for a purpose. I know that Heavenly Father loves me and that he is proud of my decision to serve. I know that my family and friends love me and that they will support me throughout this mission. I know that as I try my best even in the hard times when I am struggling he will bless me and help make up the difference. I know that Heavenly Father loves me and that he will take care of me and my family. I hope that I can be the best missionary that I can be. I know that I will be led to those who need to hear the message I have to share. I know that I will learn so much from this experience that I will be able to use throughout my life. I know that my family will be blessed. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and restored the gospel in this dispensation. I know that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon and that it is true scripture that applies to us in this day and age. I know that Thomas S. Monson is our prophet today and that he has the authority to lead and direct us. I know that as we strive to do our best we will be blessed. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

MTC address:

Sister Brianna Liane Brown
2007 North 900 East
Provo, UT 84602

Email address: brianna.brown@myldsmail.net 

I would love to hear from all of you!

This is a couple of hours before Brianna was dropped off. :)

Jen and her kids all decorated Brianna's ride with all the things they love about her. :)