Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 45

November 16, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Friday (last week)-
Today I was on exchanges with Sister Seaman for the last time. :( It was a good exchange though, we were able to talk a lot about our individual goals and give each other study about those goals, and giving ideas to help. It was nice.

Saturday (last week)-
Today we met a guy from Iran who we have been in contact with. He is here getting his pilots license for Europe. He just finished and he wanted to meet before he had to go back to Iran, so we met with him over hot chocolate. He is super nice and is just really curious about our beliefs, he was surprised to see that a lot of our beliefs are really similar to his religion's beliefs, but also a lot are different. He also told us a lot about the culture in Iran, it was very interesting. It was neat to talk to him about what we believe and he is a very deep thinker, he kept asking really deep questions which were hard to answer since he hadn't been taught the foundational lessons.

Sunday (last week)-
Today we had District Conference and it was broadcast from Salt Lake City to all of the Eastern Europe Area. We were even able to listen to it in English, which was so good because I definitely would not have been able to understand a lot of it in Lithuanian. The first talk was by Randall K. Bennett, he talked about following the prophets and apostles and keeping the Sabbath holy. I like how he spoke about treasured Sabbath traditions and how those precious memories come back to him. he said the teachings of the prophet will become increasingly different than the world. Carol F. McConkie spoke next, she spoke about faith. She said, "religion that doesn't require sacrifice does not produce the faith necessary." Also, "do not allow sin to become our identity or to control our life." My favorite was a talk by Larry R. Lawrence, he described in detail about the Plan of Salvation and what it may have been like before coming to Earth and in the Spirit world after we die. I learned and gained so much knowledge from that talk. He compared coming to Earth like we had grown up and now it is time to move away from home and go to school to learn. He said in the timeline of things, Earth life is really short, in comparison of a child being dropped off for a day of school. He said maybe it was like a funeral when we left. We didn't want to disappoint our Father and we were nervous because there is a chance that we could fail. They may have had a departing devotional where the speaker said something like, "don't worry, have faith, and trust in Father's promises." Sometimes we may feel homesick for Heaven. One of the classes we are enrolled in is self control. When we die that is graduation. He talked about how Earth is a living thing and every living thing has a Spirit. The Spirit World is the Earth's spirit and it is a lot like this earth, with neighborhoods. As soon as our Spirit leaves our body, we are shaking hands with our loved ones. In Spirit Prison there are two different types of spirits, one part people waiting to accept the Gospel, and one part wicked. In Paradise we continue to have callings, it is not just missionary work that takes place, but there are many different types of callings and jobs. We will be in a state of rest, which means a state of rest not from work, but from Satan. The Spirit World is a place of perfect order, I imagine it is run a lot like the Church is run on Earth. "Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal; neither any man, nor the children of men; neither Adam, your father, whom I created." (D&C 29:34) We can travel easily, like lightning. With permission, we can travel to Jerusalem if we wanted. It is fun to think about and I gained so much light from that talk. Last, Russell M. Nelson spoke about how we could respond to different questions about the church. It was cool, he just gave facts about each point of the church, so if anyone has a questions we can be ready to answer.

I am going to skip a few days because not a lot happened and I have so much to write about the other days.

Wednesday-
Today was long and tiring. We figured out why at the end of the night why the day was so hard. We walked a lot, but we didn't find a whole lot of people, we also kept missing our buses and so we would run but then the bus would leave right before we got there. It was a weird night. Then we were thinking about it and came to the conclusion that we weren't following the Spirit, we were just going wherever. By the end of the night we finally knocked on one door and the last was a previous investigator, she was really nice and spoke with us. We were so happy for that tender mercy, we finally felt like we maybe had gotten it right by the end of the night.

Thursday-
Today we had Zone Conference with Elder and Sister Klebingat. It was super good. I will have to continue the rest of this day and this week next email.

I love you!
Sister Brown

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 44

November 9, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Monday-
Today we went bowling again, and although I didn't do as good as I did last time, it was still fun. We even saw this league, or maybe even professional or competitive bowlers, come and they were practicing. They were really good, they even brought their own bowling balls and had shirts, they were really good, it was fun to watch. While we were playing, this mom with two little boys came and were just watching. She told us they just liked to watch, it was adorable, they would just sit there and get excited, it was so cute.

Tuesday-
Today we had District Meeting where we watched some more of General Conference. The first talk was by Francisco J. Vinas. I really liked what he said about when we have the companionship of the Holy Ghost we will not offend others. Since my mission I have found that I can say offensive things, but I have had experiences when maybe my companion and I do have to have a hard conversation and I was able to say something that maybe would have been offensive, but since I was able to think about it and live in a way that I can have the Spirit with me, the Spirit helps me form it in a way the other person will understand and take it best. The second talk was by Quentin L. Cook. I liked the part he said about self control and how it is like a muscle, we have to continually work and exercise it to become better, and eventually we won't have that temptation anymore. I like what he said about missionaries and how we have to practice self control everyday on our missions, don't let the muscle atrophy after the mission, keep it up. The last talk was my favorite, by Robert D. Hales. A lot of it is for later for me. I like the end when he was giving all of these power lines. I didn't get them all written, but one I did catch was, "if you want more than you have now, reach up, not across." I find this statement so true, usually we are surrounded by people in our same situations who don't know much more about how to get out of situations (such as not being married), than I do. That is why it is important when seeking advice for that particular thing you need to find someone who has overcome that obstacle and has some experience so that we can move on with our lives and not be stuck in the same place forever. "Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal." In the evening we had English class and we only had one student, mostly it was just Sister Neeley and I having a discussion, but I learned a lot from it. We were talking about the great Apostasy and one of our questions was, "why is it important to base our decisions on truth?" I have never really thought about what I base some of my decisions on, like where to go to school, am I basing that decision on truth or because my friend is going there? Real, eternal truth never changes and that is why it is the best base for our decisions. Next time I need to make a major decision I will remember to pay attention to the truth that goes with it.

Wednesday-
Today we needed to get Sister Neeley declared in our apartment we live in, so we had to go to this notary office with our landlady who signed a contract to take to the declaration office. Then we headed over to the declaration office and finished that. It is interesting here because every time we move apartments we have to declare. I am not sure why the country likes to keep track of everyone and where they are living, it is interesting. In the evening we decided to go knocking and find people since it has been getting really dark by 4:30 PM. I chose a place and we went there, when we got there we felt like we should say a prayer for some guidance of which dome (apartment building) we should knock because we were in the middle of quite a few. After we prayed we felt we should knock this one certain stairwell in this certain dome. We did, we started from the top of the 9 floors (luckily there was an elevator). We knocked the first and second floor (6 doors) and there was no answer on any of them, then we began knocking the 3rd floor down from the top and one woman answered. We told her who we were and why we were there, she shut us down with how she has her own church that she has gone to every Sunday since she was a little girl. We pretty much thought it was over, I was really to walk away because I didn't think there was a chance she would listen further. Sister Neeley even asked if there was anyone she knew that would be interested, she thought it was over too. Then Sister Neeley asked a question, "do you believe you can have a relationship with God?" The whole conversation shifted. Sister Neeley then proceeded to essentially give the first lesson there on her door step. She recited the First Vision and the Spirit was so strong. The woman, whose name is Zita, even listened the whole time, she spoke without interruption. Then by the end we were able to give her a Restoration pamphlet with our number on it, as well as a Book of Mormon. I thought it was over because I had asked if we could meet, she said she didn't have any time. Sister Neeley then decides to ask for her number, which I was very surprised, she said yes. It went very well, and I believe we gave that woman something to think about.

The rest of the week was amazing too, but I will write about it next Monday since this email is already pretty long.

Here is something from Sister Neeley:

Dear Sister Brown's Family,

Sister Neeley here, the favorite companion. ;) I simply just wanted to let you know how much good your missionary is doing in Lithuania. I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite recent moments with Sister Brown :) ...> :)
Last week we were going at it trying to follow the Spirit and find people. We had about 4-5 straight hours. That kind of time takes endurance! My spiritual endurance was waning after having quite a few doors shut on us and it became clear in my comments to Sister Brown. I can't remember now what was said, just how I was becoming discouraged, but Sister Brown talked me out of it and she encouraged me. We left the building because there were these guys doing maintenance and it was awkward and they weren't so happy we were there. Now, one of our companionship goals is to pray at any moment that we need to, this was one of those moments. I asked Sister Brown if we could say a prayer. We looked around and no one was nearby, so she offered a plea to our Heavenly Father to know where to go next. As she sincerely prayed and I focused, I felt the Spirit pulse though my body a couple times, cleansing and rejuvenating my Spirit. It felt really cool and much needed. That is the first time someone else's prayer has directly influenced me tangibly feeling the Spirit.
Something hilarious, the other day we were running to catch a bus that was about to leave as it waited further down along the road. Buses have usually 3 doors that open, but they prefer you get on the bus through the first doors in the front by the driver. Ha ha, we run up to the bus and the 3rd and 2nd doors shut as we get there, I will never forget the image of Sister Brown frantically knocking, the bus was about to drive away without us. After that frantic moment she displayed for all the tenants already seated on the bus, she realized the front doors were still open and that the bus driver was waiting for us. I got a way good laugh having seen the whole thing happen from behind. Favorite moment ever with Sister Brown and buses. Other favorite moments we have are when she teaches me some of her ballet skills as we sing our own nutcracker themes. :) It's good bonding. She's got some moves.
To end, I've never seen such improvement in any of my companions. Her prayers have really improved in their quality, which is evidence of her strengthening relationship with Heavenly Father. She is learning the voice of the Spirit and is loving the scriptures more and more each day. I love studying with her now and it is so impressive to see how far we have come as individuals and as a companionship. I used to call that magic how companions get along, but I have correctly learned that that is the Spirit. She is an angel to me and I've needed her. This has been such a pinnacle of my mission and I have never grown so much with anyone else, in all the best ways. :) I love your daughter and hope to visit you when I come home about March, so we can send a picture of us together to Sister Brown, because I told her I'd do that. :p I pretty much know you, so it won't be weird... for me. ;p

Su meile, Sister Neeley
(The favorite companion. just reminding you so that when she gets home you don't have to ask her, "who was your favorite?" Because you will already know...)

Here is a talk given by Elder Klebingat, who is in our Area Presidency. He is intense, but I learn a lot from him when he comes and visits.

"The Temple and the Sabbath Day"

The Holy temples of the Church of Jesus Christ are places where heaven and earth meet. Neither the ordinances performed nor the instructions given therein hold any appeal for the natural man. Only those desiring with all their heart to participate in temple worship will reap the promised spiritual blessings. Because of its deeply spiritual nature, it is never enough just to go through the temple; instead, the temple experience must go through us. Whenever this has been the case, leaving the spiritually uplifting environment of the temple and returning to this fallen world serves as a remind that we are indeed celestial beings having a celestial experience. Who of us would not just love to stay in the temple a little longer?

Now briefly consider the similarities of temple worship and keeping the Sabbath Day hold. To Moses and thus to all of us the Lord said, "Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you...that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you" (Moses 31: 13-14).

The temple is a place of refuge from the world, as should be the Sabbath
The temple is a place of revelation, as should be the Sabbath
The temple is a place of learning, as should be the Sabbath
The temple is a place of making and renewing covenants, as should be the Sabbath
The temple is a place of giving unselfish service, as should be the Sabbath
The temple is a place unspotted from the sins of the world, as should be the Sabbath
The temple is a place where we act and feel differently, as we should on the Sabbath
The temple is a place of reverence, as should be the Sabbath
The temple is a place where the world is not welcome, as should be the Sabbath

If you love participating in sacred temple ordinances, if spending time in the Lord's house is a delight to you, if you desire to harness that same spiritual power, please consider Sabbath Day observance an equal delight (see Isaiah 58:13). Joyful temple worship and joyful Sabbath Day observance are twin experiences that will bring peace to your heart and joy to your souls. According to the great theologian C.S. Lewis it is "safe to tell the pure in heart that they shall see God, because only the pure in heart will want to." Your desire to attend the temple and to keep the Sabbath Day holy are testimonies to your Heavenly Father of how earnestly you truly want to be in and to feel His presence. 

May the Lord's choicest blessings be with you and your loved ones as you prepare spiritually for the Sabbath as you would for the temple. May you claim the promised blessings as one who honors and keeps the Sabbath Day holy!

I love you!

Sister Brown
(I found this sign on a building, B for my first name and that is how you spell my last name so the Lithuanians can pronounce it) Cool!


I'm A Real Missionary!





Saturday, November 7, 2015

Week 43

November 2, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Monday-
Today we went bowling! It was very fun and we went with Sister Hubert and Sister Seaman. We definitely want to do that again. In the evening we got transfer calls, Sister Neeley and I are sticking together for one more transfer, as is everyone in the mission, except one more delayed trainee arrived and is now in a trio in Vilnius, so life is going on as is. Sister Neeley and I are excited to become even more unified since this will be our third transfer together, this will be the longest either one of us will be together with any companion.

Tuesday-
Today we had District Meeting and in District Meeting we watched three Conference talks. The first one, by Richard J. Maynes, I really liked the analogy of the potter's clay. There are so many different ways you can take that analogy. I thought about when I took that ceramics class in high school, the first thing they teach you is how to center the clay so we can be successful in making something. Just like one of the first things in the Gospel we learn is how to center our lives around Christ so that we can have a successful life. The second talk was by Neill F. Marriott. I really like their family motto. It really does show faith in difficult times. The last talk was by Larry R. Lawrence. I really liked the commitment he gave and am excited to try it out to find out how I can become a better missionary. It works because it is a commitment from an apostle and you will receive an answer you will understand if you have real intent.

Wednesday-
Today we talked to a lot of people on the street. We are going to try and have the best transfer of our time together this transfer since we were blessed with a third together, so we went hard. It was a really good day.

Thursday-
Today we decided to do a Halloween party for our English class. It was fun, Sister Neeley and I made sugar cookies and icing to decorate them with and we combined with the other Sister's class. The other Sister's brought apple cake since they have been receiving so many apples lately. It was really fun, we even tried to play pictionary, but they didn't really get the point of the game very well. They were so fascinated by the colors of the icing. I guess they have never used food coloring. Since we didn't have any Halloween cookie cutters we used an angel, gingerbread man, a shooting star and a holly type leaf cookie cutter. Those were the most Halloween type cookie cutters we had, it was a fun night.

Friday-
Lately we have just been noticing how wicked the world really is, everywhere we look there is pornography lurking. I don't understand how almost everyone has become so desensitized. It is really sad and I realize just how desensitized I really was before my mission. I am excited to stay sensitive to the Spirit.

Saturday-
Happy Halloween!!! Nothing special happened during the day. We walked around and talked to people. We saw a few decorations for Halloween, mostly in bars and stuff preparing for the evening. In the evening I carved a pumpkin, which was fun. We even had a couple groups of trick or treaters, which is surprising since they don't really do that here. We bought a bunch of candy to celebrate like we had worked really hard all night to gather it.

Sunday-
On November 1st is a holiday in Lithuania called All Saints Day. They put candles and flowers on the graves of their loved ones. We asked a member to take us with them. We went with Valdas and Kamile to Valdas' sister's grave and we put candles and flowers on it. The graveyard was beautiful all lit up. Then we went to this overlook of Kaunas, which we had been during the day but never during the night, it was beautiful. It was a really fun evening and it was nice to see how they celebrate the holiday. Also, Laisves Aleja had a trail of candles all the way into old town, there were a ton of people walking down it. It was also beautiful. I am glad I got to experience the holiday with Lithuanians.

Love,
Sister Brown

Here is my pumpkin I carved.

Week 42

October 26, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Monday-
Today we decided since the weather wasn't that great outside we wanted to have a dance party/exercise inside, so we invited the other Sisters over and turned up our Motab and Enya and really rocked out with our smooth moves.

Tuesday-
Today we decided to try as we walked around to focus on the Spirit to lead us where to go. We were walking around when Sister Neeley felt like we needed to knock this certain building and stairwell. We did, it was neat because we walked a lot of the doors, then toward the end we knocked on one and this woman with a baby answered the door and she listened, we gave her a pamphlet, she seemed to be searching, it was a neat experience.

Wednesday-
Today we had the opportunity to travel to Vilnius for Zone Training where President and Sister Harding would be attending. The training was really good, first they talked about all of the resources we have that maybe we didn't know about. They showed us the mormon.org website that we could know how to help people use it when we ask them to visit the site. We talked about better finding techniques while using our resources. We then talked about relationships with our investigators, as well as relationships with members. It was a really good training and I came away with a lot of new ideas to improve my missionary work. Afterward we had interviews with President Harding, it is always good to sit down and have some one on one time with him. After, before we got on the train to return to Kaunas, we ate lunch at McDonald's.

Thursday-
Today we taught English and we talked about prophets. It was a super good discussion. We had Juozas in our class, who was our old investigator, he is now the Sister's investigator. It was good to see him. He doesn't know a lot of English, but he pronunciates everything he does know very well.

Friday-
Not much happened today.

Saturday-
Today we found a lot again and we were able to have Missionary Coordination Meeting with Valdas, the Branch Mission Leader. We found out that one of the other Sister's investigators, Janina, who is super cool, has a baptismal date. It is so exciting, she is a great person. December 3rd is her date. My companion is amazing at the piano, before we had the meeting she was practicing a little and it is beautiful.

Sunday-
Today we had our first choir practice to get ready for Christmas. The men and the women split up to learn the songs. Since Sister Neeley was playing the piano for the men I got to practice with all of the men. Then after, in our 2nd hour classes, we were about done when all of a sudden the fire alarm goes off. It was a very interesting experience as 3 fire trucks came with about 20 firemen. We all went outside. It turns out it was a light in the Young Women's room that was empty, it was melting the plastic and nobody was using that room, so it was a little smoky in there from that. Luckily, Elder Bruce was an electrician, so he took care of it and everything was fine.

Love,
Sister Brown

Sister Neeley and I.

Week 41

October 19, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Monday-
Today we went with Sister Seaman and Sister Hubert to the Resurrection Church. It is super tall and you can pay to go to the top and see the whole city. We went up there and we even went big and paid for the elevator. We took so many pictures, we were trying to get good band photos. After, we went to a restaurant that looks over Kaunas called Viva Kaunas. It is really fun, but it was freezing outside and all of the sisters insisted that we sit outside because it is part of the experience, so we sat outside and about froze, but it was a good experience. We were definitely the only ones sitting outside, though.

Tuesday-
Today we headed to Vilnius for a short Zone Conference with Elder Klebingat, our Area Seventy, as well as Sister Wixom, the General Primary President. It was so wonderful and they are so wise. They know so much and they know the scriptures so well. Sister Wixom is so sweet, and I got to hug her and get a picture with her. This was the first time that I have had such close contact with the General Auxiliary's. Sister Wixom has a wonderful spirit about her, her and her husband are so good for each other. Elder Klebingat is super intense, he is German and he is not afraid of offending anyone. He is very wise. After the Zone Conference Sister Neeley and I got to stay for the leadership training because Sister Neeley is a Young Women's counselor. In the leadership training Sister Wixom spoke to all of the leaders in Lithuania. She started her talk when one of the Vilnius members, who has a calling in the Primary organization, raised her hand to bring up a concern that she had. It was a concern about how the Priesthood won't help in the Primary. She said that she brings it up in branch council, but nothing ever happens. Sister Wixom gave a very in depth explanation about Primary callings and who can serve in them, because the branch president was confused about it. He thought that no men could be in the Primary. It was a very good training that I believe Lithuania needed, I hope our Kaunas branch was watching as it was broadcast to all of the other cities in Lithuania. It was a really neat experience as she tried to understand their needs here and tried to answer their questions.

Wednesday-
Today we had a lesson with these girls who are from Utah teaching English here. Two are active, one is less active and the other one is not a member, we found out. It was a neat lesson, we talked about receiving personal revelation and one of the girls said that she was just wondering about that, so that was really neat. The end of the lesson we had kind of shifted and spoken about the Atonement, we felt like we were able to cater to all of their needs. It was really good and went well. In the evening we helped the Sisters in a lesson with this man named Edvaldas, he is a father of 5 and they live right outside of Kaunas. He is really good and is very religious, although he doesn't really affiliate with a certain religious group. He loves the Bible and teaches his family from it. He even brought along his wife's brother. It was really neat, he had a few questions about what he had read from the Book of Mormon. He has had three meetings with the missionaries before this lesson. I see a lot of potential in him and his family, it is really exciting.

Thursday-
Nothing too exciting happened today.

Friday-
Today we had a lesson with our investigator, Ade, who is a Nigerian. He is the member, Ade's, friend. It was a wonderful lesson about the Plan of Salvation. Right when Ade came in we could feel a difference about him, his attitude was a lot better and he was super happy. We followed up about him receiving an answer if this church is true or not. He said that he received something, but he is still waiting for confirmation. Sister Neeley drew the Plan of Salvation out on the board while we all drew it on a piece of paper. Ade seemed to soak it all up and at the end of the lesson he was pleased to say he now know more about his existence. We invited him to be baptized in about a month and he said he would think about it. He really had good questions and was understanding everything well. He also expressed that he like President Monson's talk from General Conference. It is really exciting.

Saturday-
Today we had a lesson with a member, Kamile. She is about to go to China and meet her boyfriend for the first time. She had mentioned that she is scared and we were a little worried since he is not a member and she is planning on marrying him. I think everything is better than we thought it was since she spoke how she was really scared, then prayed and felt better about it.

Sunday-
I don't have time to write much, but let's just say my companion is so good at the piano and I wish I would have listened to my mother and stuck with it.

Love,
Sister Brown



Week 40


October 12, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Monday-
Today I went to the museum Ninth Fort for my 3rd time, but this time they had a new part that you could walk through except we ran out of time and we had to leave, so I didn't get to see the new part, but hopefully I will get to go back a 4th time. We went with Sister Seaman and Sister Hurbert, who have never been before. It was fun to show them around.

Tuesday-
Today we had District Meeting where we were able to begin watching General Conference in English. We watched the first two talks of the Saturday morning session. The first one by Elder Uchtdorf and the second by M. Russell Ballard. They were both really good. In Elder Uchtdorf's talk I really liked the topic he chose about, is the Gospel working for you and if not what you can do to make it work for you. I also really liked how he said you can start where you are, you don't need to be comparing yourself with everyone around you and trying to change overnight. God sees our potential and our willing heart, then Heavenly Father will help with the rest. He is so merciful. In Elder Ballard's talk I liked the part where he reaffirmed the warning in The Family: A Proclamation. I thought that it was powerful. I like the analogy of the old ship Zion. Elder Bruce said something afterward about how if we jump out of the ship and try and make it on our own we will never make it, and it will be a lot harder. I think the boat in that case is kind of like the Atonement, we can't make it back without it and if we try to swim on our own we won't ever make it until we rely on our Savior again. I am so excited to see more of Conference and hear more of the messages.

Wednesday-
Today we had a lesson with a less active, Vanda, and an active member, Kazymeras, joined us. Vanda loves Kazymeras because he is her "Kriksta Tevas," Baptism Father. She asks about him every time we go over. He really is great, he is super old, but so active. Rumor says he runs like 5 miles a morning. We had a lesson to prepare for General Conference by talking about prophets and apostles. Afterward, when we were on the bus, we were able to talk to Kazymeras a little bit more and get to know him. We found out how long he has been a member, as well as how he came to know it was true. He said that he had a dream where Christ appeared to him and said he needs him on his side. It sounded like a neat experience. Ever since, he has been been doing missionary work and being a faithful member. Afterward, we had to hurry to branch council since Renata had asked us to go last minute since she couldn't make it as Young Women's President, and since Sister Neeley is her counselor we were able to go.

Thursday-
Today we had Gospel Discussions where we talked about prophets and apostles and then asked if they would come. They all worked, but one of our students who is from the Ukraine said she would watch it online in Russian. We will have to see how that went.

Friday-
Today we tried to visit one of our less actives, Laima, since it was her birthday, but she wasn't home. We did get to meet her father, so that was neat.

Saturday-
Today we spent most of the day at the church watching General Conference in Lithuanian. We made muffins for in between the sessions and they disappeared quite quickly. In the evening we helped clean the church.

Sunday-
Today we got to finish General Conference, we also got to partake of the Sacrament, which I thought was neat that they started doing that. After Sacrament we got to watch one session in English (the session we already got to see in English) with our investigator who speaks English. It was as good as the last time I watched it. We then watched the Sunday Afternoon Session in Lithuanian.

Love,
Sister Brown

A weird fruit we found. What is it?


Our friend Soroush and his friend who was visiting, he is a pilot.


Ninth Fort with the Sisters.

Week 39


October 5, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Monday-
Today we decided to take it easy a little bit. We decided to do everything in our own timing, which was nice. In the evening we went out walking to find people to teach. While we were out we found this really neat girl named Simona, she is a young adult and she was in a little bit of a hurry, but she listened to us and was actually super interested in meeting with us, so we exchanged numbers. She was super sweet. Then we decided that when we ride on buses, if we were not talking to anyone we would just get off and try the next bus. It was going really good. We got on this one bus and Sister Neeley began talking to this really nice lady. When she got off we decided it was time for us to get off as well. I was talking to Sister Neeley about her and she said that she didn't have any pamphlets and the woman also said that she like to read. Sister Neeley decided she needed to give her a pamphlet and the Book of Mormon. She ran after her a little ways down the road and gave them to her. The woman was really sweet and impressed, she thought Sister Neeley got off of the bus just for her. It was cute. I also thought it was super brave of Sister Neeley, she is a great missionary. 

Tuesday-
Today we had District Meeting where we learned about our studies and why they are so important. While on my mission I have found so many different and interesting new things to study, it really has been a learning and growing experience. I thought I knew a lot before my mission, but everyday I continue to gain more and more knowledge, it is a wonderful opportunity to grow. I want to be able to keep it up when I return home.

Wednesday-
This morning we had the opportunity to watch the Women's session of General Conference. It was so wonderful and I am glad I was able to watch it. We went to the senior couple's apartment to watch it with Sister Bruce and the other sisters came as well. It was a fun morning. Sister Bruce made a delicious breakfast, then we all sat down to watch the session. I thought all of the talks were wonderful and I really liked what Sister Wixom said in her talk about Divine Nature. "There are two important days in a woman's life, the day when she is born and the day she finds out why." Later today we got have a lesson with our investigator, Ade. We have had a couple lessons with him before but they had months in between each lesson. We decided we would watch the First Vision. Afterward we were able to testify, the Spirit was very strong. I was so happy I was able to testify in English. He committed to really try to find out if the church was true, and we talked about to really find out we need to pray, read the Book of Mormon, and come to church. He said he would, I am excited to begin to see him progress. 

Thursday-
Today I went on exchanges with a Russian speaking missionary in Vilnius. Her name is Sister Hayes. She is really nice and is in her last transfer. It was fun to get to know her better. We had a lesson in the evening, I was a little nervous because the woman we had the lesson with speaks Lithuanian and Russian and I just wasn't too sure how it would go. I have always had someone with me who understands Lithuanian and could help me understand, but Sister hayes sure doesn't understand Lithuanian. I just decided I would have to try my best to understand and put my faith in Heavenly Father, that He would help me. The lesson actually went really well and I was able to understand, no doubt with Heavenly Father's help. I was also able to participate more in the lesson than I ever had. I testified and they understood, it was a wonderful experience and I proved to myself that I could do it.

Friday-
Today I returned from the exchange. After all the sisters were with their companions, the Russian speaking sisters headed back to Vilnius while Sisters Seaman and Hubert and Sister Neeley and I went to grab some lunch together. It was really fun. On the bus ride back from Vilnius the bus stopped at this in between city and picked up passengers. This couple sat in front of us and they began talking in English, the woman had an East coast accent, and we think the man was from Lithuania since he knew Lithuanian. It was fun to hear her accent and her making comments on things as we rode into Kaunas. It was interesting, I wonder how they met. 

Saturday-
Today we walked around doing some finding, it was a good day, not too eventful.

Sunday-
Today was fast Sunday here in Lithuania, as they will watch Conference in a week when it is translated into Lithuanian. It was a good day. We were able to stay in Primary since we didn't have any Young Women where the Primary children were angels today. Usually they are a lot more wild, it as refreshing. Then we went home to make some dinner. While we were making dinner we found out we had permission to watch the Sunday Morning Session of General Conference, which was wonderful! I really enjoyed it, I will have to share my insights later because I am out of time.

Love,
Sister Brown

Week 38

September 28, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Monday-
Today we were able to spend some time with the Bruce's, it was a fun and relaxed day. We went out to this mall called Mega to see an aquarium that they have there, the aquarium wasn't quite as impressive as we thought, but it was fun anyway. To end our evening we all went to a funeral for one of our member's mother who passed away. She was really old, so I think that it was good. It was a different experience going to this viewing type thing, I guess that it is called a wake for Catholics. We all just sat and sat until finally it was time to sing. Then we sang and then we sat for a little more.

Tuesday-
Today we had District Meeting where we talked about Alma's experience in Alma 36, it was really good. We also talked about an analogy about having your line in the water when you are fishing, which is like the work we are doing, we can be out all day but only have our line the water for two hours and not catch anything, but the longer you have your line in the water the more likely you will catch something. I really like the analogy.

Wednesday-
Today we said goodbye to a good friend we made here in Lithuania. Her name is Gerda, she is going to Turkey for school for four months, I hope I am here in Kaunas when she gets back in January, or I at least hope to hear what happens if she will continue investigating when she gets back.

Thursday-
Today we were able to welcome Sister Seaman back to Kaunas and Sister Hubert. It is strange serving with Sister Seaman, but not as her companion.

Friday-
Today they had another festival type thing on our street. I heard later a woman telling a man who asked that it is the Fall Festival. I guess they have a Spring Festival and a Fall Festival. It is pretty exciting. In the evening we went and had a lesson with a woman named Rasina. She is really nice, but she seems comfortable, she doesn't really want to change right now.

Saturday-
Today the festival was still going on and we were able to walk around it a little bit. They had some really neat performers by the park who were dressed up in traditional Lithuanian clothing and singing and playing traditional music. All these people were dancing, it was really fun to watch.

Sunday-
Tonight we had a lesson with Juozas, Sister Seaman and Hubert came so we could pass him off since he lives in their area. One of our members also came last minute because he was at the church when we were meeting the sisters there and he offered his help. I was so glad to have him there, he was able to be kind and understanding of Juozas and testify about all of the right things. It was a good lesson and I was able to find out a lot about Juozas.

Love,
Sister Brown

Week 37

September 22, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Monday-
There is a cute little family from Texas here for his schooling, he is on an exchange program. Their names are Brother and Sister Salmon. They are super nice and have a 4 year old and newborn. Brother Salmon has been here for a few weeks, but his family just travelled here not too long ago. Sister Salmon was talking to us in church and how she doesn't know how to grocery shop, so she asked if she could tag along while we grocery shop today. We met her and were able to explain what everything is and help her out. She is really nice and I thought really brave traveling alone with a newborn and a small child. We then waited all night for our transfer calls, then finally we ended up calling some of the other sisters to see if they had heard anything yet, they had so they told us the news. Sister Neeley and I are staying together in Kaunas.

Tuesday-
Today was Elder Armstrong's last District Meeting. It was really good, we talked a lot about faith. How faith is a living, breathing thing. We have to feed it and take care of it and try over and over until it grows like we talked about it in Zone Conference being like a muscle and how it can grow as you work it.

Wednesday-
Today we had time to walk around and try to find people to teach. Before that we went over to the Elder's apartment and cleaned it and heart attacked it, we are getting Elder Norman and a trainee here in Kaunas. I am glad we cleaned it, the apartment did not smell the best.

Thursday-
Today we taught Gospel Discussions in the evening and we talked about the Parable of the Prodigal Son. It was a really good discussion about forgiveness. After, we were able to meet the new trainee, his name is Elder Lyon. He seems nice, I think he is from Mesa, Arizona.

Friday-
Today we walked around. While we were walking around on the street we live on there was a lot of fun things going on, they had some kind of rock type music concert over by the park and there was some kind of exhibit, we think maybe art.

Saturday-
Today the branch had an activity where they went mushroom hunting in the forest. We were going to go and I was so excited because I have always wanted to go mushroom hunting, but then President said that since that active would be all day we couldn't go. It was really sad, but we had investigators going so we decided to go and see them off. While we were there the Salmon's thought that maybe they would go, but when they found out it would be all day they decided to not go because they have a newborn and they weren't prepared for an all day event. We were all walking to the bus stop together and talked and got to know them, he is from Alabama, and she is from Texas. They ended up inviting us to dinner that night. We went there for dinner and they fed us, it was really nice of them. We found out that Sister Neeley's Bishop is Brother Salmon's Uncle, so that was crazy. It really is a small world.

Sunday-
Today after church we got to meet with Renata, the Young Women's President, to talk about lessons since Sister Neeley is the counselor. After, when we were finishing up, she received a call that one of our members whose mother was old and sick passed away. Then everybody who was still at the church went into funeral planning mode and somehow we got drug into it to sing. Tomorrow night I will be singing part of a song, solo! I am so nervous, I have never sung solo. We came home and we practiced and practiced until my voice turned hoarse. I hope everything goes alright. We will have to keep practicing tomorrow.

Love,
Sister Brown

My last transfer district in Kaunas.

Week 36


September 14, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Monday-
Today we were able to celebrate with a member for her birthday, she loves Chinese food, so we went out for Chinese, then we went to a museum she wanted to go to but has never been, Ninth Fort. I have been there one other time, but this time I trie dot learn a little more, and I did. It is super interesting. After we went to the Bruce's where, for FHE, we celebrated her birthday. Sister Bruce made her favorite meal of lasagna, then she blew out some candles and we played some fun games. I hope she had a great birthday. We tried to make it special for her. I think she had fun.

Tuesday-
Today we had District Meeting where Sister Neeley spoke about Christ and his Atonement a little, we had a really good discussion about how we will always be unprofitable servants even though that doesn't mean we are worthless, our worth is great in the sight of God. Also, how we have always been and always will be dependent on God, no matter how independent you are you will never be completely independent. It was a really good discussion.

Wednesday-
Today we had an apartment inspection done by the Bruce's, we also made a pizza lunch for them. They are so wonderful, they are like our parents here on the mission. They just want to take care of us and treat us like their kids, it is super sweet.

Thursday-
Today we had Gospel Discussions where we talked about the talents. They have a really hard time applying things from the scriptures to themselves. We were talking about the talents we have, then we talked about the story and one woman could not get away from the fact that Christ was speaking about money and we were trying to compare that to the talents we have. It was hard for her. 

Friday-
Today we tried to do a lot of stop by's at past investigators. Not a lot of people were home, but it was fun to walk around and get to know Sister Neeley better.

Saturday-
Tonight all of our plans ended up falling through, so we ended up walking around. 

Sunday-
Today was really good day at church. We were running a little late, so all of the members were sitting in the chapel waiting for Sacrament meeting to start and there are these large windows on one side of the room and the sidewalk to the door goes right in front of it, and they can see all the way to the bus stop. We get off and they saw us running the whole way, I think they thought it was quite funny. Luckily, we made it right in time. It was Elder Armstrong's last Sunday, so he spoke in Sacrament meeting.

Love, 
Sister Brown





Week 35

September 7, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Monday-
Today we were feeling like we were missing wearing heels so we went shoe shopping and tried on some pretty intense heels. We then went to the castle of Kaunas and took some fun pictures and walked around there for a little bit. We played soccer in the evening for FHE. There were these little kids there and they joined us, they were super good at it. They scored so many goals together, good thing I was on their team. Tonight I made apple pie from some of the million apples that we picked from Povilas' tree.

Tuesday-
Today we had District Meeting where we reviewed the Zone Conference we had last week, since the senior couple was not able to make it because they were assigned to help the Patriarch and his wife get around since they were in town giving Patriarchal Blessings to members. For Gospel Discussions we spoke about faith. It was a good discussion. We talked about how it is like a seed, it seemed to be a basic enough concept that they could understand it.

Wednesday-
Today was a really good day, we walked a lot. In the morning we visited Stanislava, who was doing good, but I guess she forgot we were coming over and she thought we were going to call. She let us in anyway and she was so frazzled because she had nothing prepared, so she prepared a few different things for us to eat. It was really cute. It was nice of her to even let us in.

Thursday-
Tonight we had Gospel Discussions where we were going to talk about prayer, but then one of our students who comes sometimes came and we knew that we could not talk about prayer with her, so we ended up talking about honesty, apparently, it was still too hard of a concept for her to comprehend. We shared stories about times when we were honest or dishonest or when someone else was honest. It was really good. We also received a call today and we are no longer to wear our name tags. Their hope is that people will be more willing to talk to us without thinking we are some kind of authority.

Friday-
Today began some kind of festival kind of like Peach Days at home, on the street we live on (Laisves Aleja). It is really exciting and neat to see all of the vendors with all of the things that they have made. Some work with wood, wool, art, honey, meat, and a lot more. It is neat to see everyone who has made all of these things by hand in their own trade.

Saturday-
Today we walked about 6 miles, that is the most I have walked in a long time. In the evening we went and visited Vanda, one of our less actives. She was doing good, but she hurt her foot somehow. We talked about baptismal covenants a little bit, and about repentance. It was a good lesson. Afterward we were walking around and discovered this really cool lake, it was beautiful and perfect timing with the sun going down.

Sunday-
Today we had a mission wide fast for more faith. I have learned a lot about faith lately and it really is the key to everything. I tried to translate for Sacrament meeting, but it was still really hard, so Sister Neeley ended up taking over. It was really a wonderful Sunday. So many people came to church, lot's of less actives. It was amazing. Lot's of wonderful testimonies were also said. We had a lesson in the evening with Juozas, our investigator. We were able to bear our testimonies in the end, and I really felt the Spirit strong. Afterward the senior couple gave us a ride in a car they were renting for a few days.

Love,
Sister Brown

Sister Neeley and I


Week 34

August 31, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Monday-
Today was good, we went to the Resurrection Church. We took a ton of pictures on Sister Neeley's camera because my camera's battery died right before we went. Afterward we played the usual soccer and volleyball. It was super fun, all of these little kids ended up joining us.

Tuesday-
Today we got to walk around and talk to people during the day, and in the evening we taught Gospel Discussions. We tried to talk about the Creation and the Fall, but then this one woman who comes sometimes complains that what we talk about is too hard to understand, so we had one questions that asked them what makes them happy, she loved that question. We ended up just sticking with that question for the rest of the class.

Wednesday-
Today we had a long day outside. We saw these two little girls, one was playing a violin and the other an accordion. I have never seen such a little girl play an accordion, usually it is old men that play. We stopped by a less active and she said she would come to church on Sunday. She also had a daughter that I don't believe is a member, who was super interested in learning English. Hopefully she starts coming.

Thursday-
Tonight we taught Gospel Discussions and we planned it super simply, just in case this woman, Nijole, came because she always complains about how hard it is. She didn't end up coming, but one of our students who comes all the time expressed how much better she liked that lesson because it was easier to understand and learn. We will continue to try and simplify our lessons.

Friday-
This morning we woke up at 5 AM so that we could go to Vilnius for Zone Conference. I don't know if it was because I prepared more, but it was definitely one of my favorites. The topic of the whole conference was faith in Jesus Christ. I really enjoyed learning about it and how to apply it to our missionary work. We talked a lot about why faith in Jesus Christ and not just faith. I know that we can put our faith into a lot of different things, but nothing will come of it because there is actual power in faith in Christ. Faith in Jesus Christ can grow and become stronger as you act and gain knowledge. The power of faith in Christ is real, you can literally do anything if it was commanded of you.

Saturday-
This morning we went back to Povilis' garden to pick the rest of the apples off of his trees. He is so sweet and has such a strong testimony. We picked all of the apples off of his trees, then he gave us more apples. We now have so many apples. I think we might end up making a pie or something because there is no way we can eat all of these apples.

Sunday-
Today was really good. A Nigerian member gave a talk today, so it was in English and was translated by another member. It was a super good talk. I really appreciate how strong his testimony is. He is a pretty new member.

Love, Sister Brown



Week 33

August 24, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Monday-
Today we had the opportunity to show these four girls from Utah around a little bit. We showed them this super authentic Lithuanian restaurant, then we helped them get bus passes and exchange their money. It was really fun to spend some time with people from America. They are here to teach English to little kids for four months and they are all members. In the evening we all went to the Bruce's for Young Single Adult FHE. It was fun, we played sand volleyball and soccer again.

Tuesday-
Early this morning we had a lesson with Gerda. Gorda is this really cool girl who Sister Seaman and I had met on the street. It was her birthday on Sunday, so this week to celebrate she will be going to Spain. She was able to meet with us. It was a really good lesson. She had a lot of really good questions and she was really just trying to understand. She has never believed in God, so it is a little bit of a new concept to her. She is very eager to learn more. Every time she is with us or in the church she says she feels good. I know that she can feel the Spirit and I believe it is a new feeling to her, she really likes it. Later in the day we headed back to the church to help the Elders in a lesson with this girl named Janina. She was a super cute girl who during the whole lesson just was crying her eyes out. She said some things about her Dad dying and her Mom being sick. It sounds like she has had a hard life and has been lost for awhile, but she accepted baptism in the future. She seems very prepared.

Wednesday-
Today Sister Seaman and Sistery Hayes came to do an exchange with us here in Kaunas. Sister Hayes is a Russian speaking missionary who is serving in Vilnius. I had my exchange with Sister Seaman and Sister Neeley was with Sister Hayes. I love Sister Seaman, she is super bubbly and happy and I love when I get to spend time with her.

Thursday-
Today we continued our exchange and we talked to a lot of people. For a little bit we tried taking off our tags and putting away our Book of Mormon's. Everyone was so much happier when we spoke with them, they tended not to just no want to talk with us right away.

Friday-
Today we had Zone Training in Vilnius. Before, we got to have interviews with President Harding. It was really good to see him and talk with him and receive counsel. He is so inspired and I can really tell he cares about us missionaries. After my interview before zone training began one Elder had bought and cooked cow tongue. He was having everyone try it, then he would give us bread afterward. So today I tried cow tongue. I can say it was like chewing on a tongue. Sister Harding even tried, I was surprised. We then had zone training. We had a big discussion about some questions about faith in Jesus Christ. It was really good and I am beginning to understand not just faith, but faith in Jesus Christ and the difference between the two.

Saturday-
Today we got to go out and help one of our members, who is pretty old, pick apples off of his tree. His name is Povilis and he is a super sweet old man. We picked apples for about 5 minutes and then he said that was enough. I guess he wants them to ripen more and then we will go back next week and pick the rest. Tonight we had a lesson with Juozas and we found out that he hasn't drank coffee in a week. I am really proud of him. He wasn't sure why, but he tried it out anyway.

Sunday-
Today was really good. We had another American show up for Sacrament meeting. I guess he will be here for four months as well, and he has a wife and a baby who will be joining him soon. Elder Bruce started teaching an English Sunday School class for all of the English speakers. It will be good, we will have about 7 people in his class as soon as his wife joins him here in Lithuania. Today Sister Neeley had to translate Relief Society for the new girls in the branch. It was her first time and she did really well. It is hard because technically, she should be in Young Women's since she is the counselor, but we decided when she wasn't teaching we could go in and translate. I don't know what we will do for the Sunday's she will be teaching. I might have to do it, who knows.

Love,
Sister Brown

I colored the camel you sent to me.


New Utah girls.

Sister Neeley and I

Šaltibaršai
 (pink soup)
Sister Neeley while we were picking apples.

Week 32

August 17, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Monday-
Today was great. I tried sushi for the first time, it was very interesting, not a bad flavor, just a weird texture. We were able to go to the Young Single Adult FHE where we played sand volleyball and soccer. It was really fun and it felt good to run round and play sports. I haven't run around like that for a really long time. I even almost scored a few goals. My soccer skills have definitely improved since the last time I played when I was six.

Tuesday-
Today we had District Meeting where we all spoke about our favorite Christ-like attribute. I never realized how many there are. I chose to speak about pure intent and how Christ showed pure intent. When he doesn't do his good acts in front of men to get praise, but to glorify his Father. He suffered the Atonement alone, showing that he wasn't just doing it for show, he really cares about each one of us and that was exactly his intent. We also had Gospel Discussions where we spoke about forgiveness. It was a really good discussion. Afterward we were able to talk to this really cool girl, Gerda, who Sister Seaman and I had met on a street forever ago. I guess she came the week before, but we were not able to be there, so she was asking about us and if she could talk with us. She is super cool and said that she feels something when she is with us and around us. Also, she said we could meet with her and talk with her more about the Gospel. She also mentioned about maybe coming to church on Sunday. She is definitely prepared. It is crazy she remembered us inviting her to English class from such a long time ago.

Wednesday-
Today we had a lesson with this really neat woman we met on the street last Saturday. Her name is Stanislava. She is super cute and she actually speaks English really well, she is 84 years old. She had read quite a bit from the Book of Mormon we had given her on the street. I think mostly she wanted to meet so that she could just clear up some questions she had about our religion. It was a super good lesson and we were able to testify a lot in both Lithuanian and English. It felt good to testify in English, it means so much more to me when I can really say what I feel in my own language.

Thursday-
Today we made cookies to celebrate Sister Neeley's one year mark on a mission. They were peanut better cookies with some chocolate thrown in because what is a cookie without chocolate? We were running a little late for Gospel Discussions tonight, so when we got there Elder Bruce was teaching both classes, we just joined right in. He showed two Mormon Messages, which I really liked, about prayer. The first one he showed is called "The Hope of God's Light," which is about a man who thought he had it all but then he got into drugs and alcohol and everything came tumbling down. The second one is called "You're Never Alone." It is about Elaine S. Dalton telling a story of the time she ran the Boston Marathon. They both were really good and teach how important prayer really is. I read the other night someone's experience in the Liahona. This woman and her family were struggling financially and she would pray and ask for their needs. Then she received a prompting that she needed to show gratitude instead of asking for the same things in every prayer. For a week she prayed with gratitude. Her prayers changed from, "I thank thee for food, clothing and shelter," to, "I thank thee for the family Thou has preserved and kept well, for the protection Thou dost continue to afford us. I thank Thee for the provisions Thou wilt continue to bless us with." I have tried to change my prayers to more gratitude, that way they are more filled with faith and we are thanking Heavenly Father for things we will receive instead of just everything we already have.

Friday-
Today we did a lot of walking around on Laisves Aleja, which is a street with quite a few people, it was fun. In the evening we visited our less active, Vanda, she is doing good, but she says it is too hot to go to church.

Saturday-
Today we had a lesson with Juozas, our investigator, it was really good. We were able to read 2 Nephi 31 with him in an effort to get him to read from the Book of Mormon.

Sunday-
Today was really good, we had 4 girls from Utah at church who will be here for 4 months teaching English, it was really cool. We also had a previous missionary at church with her mom, Sister Wilkins is her name.

Love,
Sister Brown

Week 31

August 10, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Monday-
Today Sister Penrose and I had our last preparation day together. She wanted to buy a few more souvenirs. She started trying to finish packing and then in the evening we went to the young single adults FHE where we talked about service and it was really great, then afterward when we were home getting ready for bed we received transfer calls. I pretty much knew I would be staying here in Kaunas, but I had no idea who my companion would be. My new companion is Sister Neeley, and we will be staying Kaunas West. It should be an interesting transfer, I do not know Sister Neeley very well.

Tuesday-
Today we had our last District Meeting where we were all able to share our testimonies and Sister Penrose got to share what she learned from her mission. She shared a great testimony. Then afterward I was able to receive a really wonderful blessing since I was super nervous for the transfer ahead. It was wonderful and it really shows how much Heavenly Father loves me and cares and knows what I feel. Afterward we had to go get Sister Penrose undeclared, then she finished packing and then we traveled to Klaipeda to stay the night. In the morning Sister Hoskin and Sister Penrose will head for Ryga, then Sister Neeley and I will head back to Kaunas. It has been super hot here and the bus to Klaipeda was super small and had no space for luggage, so we had to just put Sister Penrose's two large suitcases next to us in the aisle. The bus ride was about three hours and the bus did not have air conditioning and I was sitting right in the sun. I am glad we made it finally.

Wednesday-
Today we went to the bus stating in Klaipeda and we headed off for Kaunas and the other sisters for Ryga. It is really sad to see them go, luckily, our bus was a lot bigger on the way back and there was a place to put Sister Neeley's luggage, and it had air conditioning.

Thursday-
Today I discovered a lot about Sister Neeley and how she is a lot different than I thought. I think that it is going to be a good transfer. We get along pretty well. We had a lesson with a less active named Virginija. It was interesting.

Friday-
Today we did a lot of walking. We were able to talk to this really neat couple. There were a ton of people who were down by the river swimming. It is super hot and humid here this last week.

Saturday-
Today we walked outside in the morning to change it up and hoped it would be a little cooler in the morning. It was a little cooler. We started talking to this really cute old lady, she had these glasses that made her eyes look huge. We sat and spoke with her on a bench for about an hour. By the end we had exchanged telephone numbers and we had her address and gave her a Book of Mormon, we also set up a time to meet next week. We started walking back with her toward her and then she just decided to show us where she lives so that we could find it easier when we came to have our lesson, she invited us in for a minute. She was super cute, she showed us all of her pictures. We met this really cool Philipean girl on Laisves Aleja. I guess she is a nanny for this family who is visiting Lithuania. She was super cute and we were able to talk to her for about an hour and a half.

Sunday-
Today we had church. Renata, the new Young Women's President decided to ask Sister Neeley to be her counselor in the Young Women's presidency, so it looks like we will still be going to Young Women's on Sundays. I had to try and translate for Sister Nuttle, who is a senior couple with her husband. It was really hard and I had the jist, but it was not very connected. I guess it just takes practice.

Love,
Sister Brown

Our District

Sister Hoskin and I

Sister Neeley and I

Sister Penrose and I


Nina, Sister Neeley and I

Sister Nuttle, Sister Neeley and I


My pictures I hung up

Week 30


August 3, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Monday-
Today we went school shopping for Sister Penrose since she will be heading off for college shortly after she arrives home in a week and a half.

Tuesday-
Today we had District Meeting where we all spoke on different teaching skills, I was assigned to speak about inviting members to teach. I really am starting to see the importance of member involvement when it comes to missionary work. I will be much more willing to help the missionaries out when I get home. The investigator can just relate with the member so much better than a missionary, especially if that member is a convert, or even better, a recent convert. We were able to teach Gospel Discussions, we talked about Christ. After the lesson one of our students want to inform us about all of the GMO's in our food in America. It was very interesting.

Sister Soosalu wrote this last week...
"Thursday, 23 of July 2015
Hello! It is very rainy but enjoyable day! I am with Sister Soosalu and we will have sooooooo fun day!!! We are planning now for our lessons. We just had lunch - we made tortillas and had some pieces of chocolate! What a day! I am looking for a talk now about Christ so we could share it with Edita. People here are amazing and they teach me so many things every day. We just took pictures with the American flag and other decorations you sent me mom! Thanks! That was super fun! Now we are on our way out to lesson! It will be very spiritual and full of love lesson, because we love the people here so much! And the sun is out! Huraaa for Israel!

WE had an amazing lesson with Edita! She was so happy and willing to talk and think along. She is sealed to her husband in the temple and we want them to have eternal life. She said that they pray together and their wish is to be more together. He works in Norway and this does not allow them to be together more. She is amazing and still takes care of people she has taught in church earlier. She still loves the people and our Savior, even if she is not able to come to church all the time. She still knows the truth. After that we had an amazing lesson at church. We were teaching Gospel Discussions about prophets. Sister Soosalu taught them how to pray and I asked them life questions about rules and why we have them. They were shy to answer, but it was a good learning experience for them. We talked a little with the Bruce's. Sister Bruce is a convert and has a wonderful story to tell. She loves God deeply and we can see it. I am happy that I had a busy day. I learned more Lithuanian and I spoke more boldly. I am not perfect, but Heavenly Father does not expect that of me. He wants me to do my best. That is enough for Him. I love Him and I will show it by my actions. God has given me so many beautiful things to be grateful for. Sister Soosalu said that I am amazing and that God needs me here for the reasons who I am. She said that because of my willingness He can work through me very well and with power. She thinks I am really special, she loves me. She said that it is wonderful to serve with me. We had an amazing day! HURRRAAAAAA FOR ISRAEL!!! PS the sun came out and all is in blossoms. People are smiling again and the light is back in their eyes! I love to see their light - it testifies to me always that we are children of Almighty God! Halleluuiaaaaa!"

Wednesday-
Today we were able to walk around a lot in the rain. We were also able to go and visit a less active named Vanda, she is so sweet. She said that she would really come to church this Sunday, so we will see if she comes. Sister Penrose told her it would be her last Sunday.

Thursday-
Today began my last exchange with Sister Soosalu. We were supposed to have a lesson with an active member in Vilnius named Birute, but we received a call that her son, who is also a member, had passed away. We decided we would still go over and take her some food. She let us in and was so kind, even during this very hard time. Her brother and one of her daughters were there helping make arrangements. I am so glad she has the Gospel in her life at this time. It would be so much harder without the peace the Gospel brings.

Friday-
Tonight we were able to visit Petras and Stasa, who are an older couple in the branch. They are so sweet together, Stasa's eyes hurt and there he was offering peace and comfort telling her everything would be okay.

Saturday-
Today we were able to have a lesson with the first member in Kaunas. Her name is Birute. She told us her story of how she came in contact with the missionaries and how they didn't know any Lithuanian and it was their first day in Lithuania. I thought that it was crazy that they were able to communicate with her even though they did not know the language. She is a wonderful, strong member. 

Sunday-
Today was Sister Penrose's last Sunday in Lithuania and she got to say goodbye to a lot of the members. It was a great day.

--I am a little nervous for transfer calls which should come tonight, because I know that I will be getting a new companion. Sister Penrose is at the end of her mission. There is really only one sister that I am nervous about becoming her companion, she just seems like she is not easy to get along with. We will have very few sisters after this transfer, there will only be 7 of us, we are losing 4. The language is coming, I definitely understand more on some days than others. We were running low on mission money and we were really hungry and we only had 20 Euros left for groceries, so we had to save that for groceries, so I took out some money to buy us some lunch. We only ended up spending about 11 Euros on our groceries for the whole week. Our fridge was pretty empty, but we made it.

Love,
Sister Brown



Sister Soosalu and I

Week 29

July 27, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Monday-
We were able to go to this really neat and depressing museum called Ninth Forth. It is a concentration camp that was used during World War 2 for Jews. It was very interesting and sad. It really makes me think about the people we talk with here in Lithuania, especially the older ones who were alive during that time, I am sure they still have emotional scars from it.

Tuesday-
We had to go to Immigration because Sister Penrose's card expires today. After waiting there all morning, we finally got in to discover that we are missing one document, so after that we go late to District Meeting where Sister Penrose taught us about listening to the Spirit more and really listening to our investigators. Afterward we were able to find the document and head back over to immigration, then after waiting for hours once again, we find out we are missing another document. So we were not able to finish it all today, even after all of that waiting. Tonight at Gospel Discussions we had two new people come, as well as two that we haven't seen in awhile. It was really good. One of the new men gave us a random bunch of green grapes, it was really nice of him.

Wednesday-
We went back over to Immigration at eleven this morning, then we waited all day. We ended up getting out of there at about 4:30 PM and the place closes at 5. I felt bad for the other people who had also been waiting for a long time and still hadn't talked to anyone.

Thursday-
I went on an exchange with Sister Soosalu. This time she came to Kaunas. She really wanted to see Kaunas one last time before she goes home in a week and a half. It was really good, we had a lesson with a less active who always cancels on us last minute, but this time she didn't cancel. It went really well. Then we got to teach Gospel Discussions again where we had the same two new men in the class. Today that same man who gave us the grapes gave us these rolls.

Friday-
We had so many lessons planned. Our first lesson was with Ade, a recent convert, which is our last with him. Then afterward we had a referral we were supposed to meet, but she didn't show up. In the evening we had a lesson with Juozas. He even played his accordion for us. I was worried about his beard getting stuck in it. He gave us some berries to eat during the lesson. There were blueberries, which were my favorite, then he also gave us black and red currants, which were very interesting and not my favorite berries. We talked about the Word of Wisdom, and the lesson was amazing. He even said the closing prayer where he prayed to find out if the Word of Wisdom was from God.

Saturday-
We had a Young Woman activity where I shared a few thoughts about pioneers and how the Young Women are pioneers, we only had Justina show up, but she had fun. We made butter and we had biscuits for the butter and we decorated journals, it was really fun.

Sunday-
Someone was called as Young Women's President, but she already has a lot of callings and I guess they didn't even talk to her beforehand to see if she would accept the calling. She will be a great Young Women's President. Sister Penrose gave the lesson in Young Women about the temple, it was super good. A lot of the members went to the temple last week and they were all just glowing today, it was wonderful.

Love,
Sister Brown

Week 28

July 20, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Monday-
Today we were able to walk up and down Laisves Aleja, it was really fun. You see a lot of interesting people. Afterward, we went to the YSA Family Home Evening where we played tennis in these fancy indoor tennis courts where Sister Penrose and I just watched. It was a lot of fun and they had a lot of people show up to play.

Tuesday-
Today we walked around and stopped by some less active's and past investigators. In the evening we taught our gospel discussions class where we talked about the 10 commandments. It went really well. We watched a Mormon Message about how the world only keeps about 4 of the commandments. I really liked it. (http://www.mormonchannel.org/watch/series/mormon-messages/obedience-to-the-ten-commandments)

Wednesday-
Today it rained so much! We tried to just do as much inside work as possible so we didn't have to walk in the rain too much. We tried to go to Branch Council, but only the Relief Society President showed up, I guess everyone forgot to tell us that it was cancelled.

Thursday-
Today we were supposed to meet this referral we received to give her a Book of Mormon, but she never showed up. After that we ate at the church because we had to stay for Gospel Discussions. In Gospel Discussions we talked about how God is our loving Father in Heaven. It was super good and we watched this super good Mormon Message about how Heavenly Father has a different plan for us and sometimes He has to cut us down so we can become what we need to be. (http://www.mormonchannel.org/watch/series/mormon-messages/the-will-of-god-2)

Friday-
Today we had zone training where we had a counsel about what the district's and the branch's strengths are and what they need help with. It was really good and helpful, and there was really a lot of participation. Then Elder Turley, who is serving in Klaipeda, spoke about the Sabbath Day and it was super good and helpful. I really enjoyed it. Sister Soosalu mentioned how she will write a letter to Jesus each week to prepare for the Sacrament. I really liked it. We also had some testimonies by the Sister's who would be leaving after this transfer. It was really hard, but they all had really good testimonies. Afterward, everyone just took pictures and said goodbye.

Saturday-
Today we had an activity for the Young Women where we decorated journals for girls camp and talked about family history. It was really fun and I decided to decorate mine as a Sacrament journal, where I can write my letters to Jesus and write in it during the Sacrament. I am super excited about it.

Sunday-
Today I made delicious cinnamon rolls for the first time, they actually turned out really good. I see why people don't make them very often, they do take a lot of time and work.

Love,
Sister Brown

Sister White

Sister Hoskin

Sister Soosalu

Sister Neely and Sister Hoskin

Sister Bestenlenher

Sister Bruce

Sister White

(The departing Sisters are Sisters White, Hoskin, Soosalu and Penrose :( )