Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Doing the Work of Jesus.

Hello again, it's me. 
I use to blog regularly.
Now I don't.
And that's about all you need to know.
Here's to hoping I find my groove again.

I've been thinking a lot about missionaries lately.
Probably because almost every sacrament meeting this summer hosted an outgoing or incoming missionary. 
It was awesome.
I can't explain the love that fills my heart for those who leave and then return.
It's amazing, the change, and I can't get enough of it.
Mostly because I find myself constantly examining my own commitment to doing the work of Jesus. 
I love it. 
For the Brown side of the family, it was quite the year for missionaries.

We had this lovely girl come home from the Georgia Atlanta North Mission. 
She was an awesome girl before she left, but oh my, 
the difference in her has been so amazing to see.
She is a great example of how missions are meant to sink the gospel deep into your own heart as you do the Lord's work.
Lindsey continually seeks for people to help and ways to serve.
She is truly one of my favorite people to be around.
She adds a dose of joy to everything.

Then, this boy left for  Honduras.
His letters home make me laugh. For example and I quote:
"Here's the story of the week. My companion 
almost killed a baby ".  
But more often than not, they make me cry:
"My mission has and is changing me into the person I was MEANT to be". 

 Love that Elder Neeley.

Not long after he left,another Elder Neeley came home.
His brother had served for 2 years in Colorado Springs, (Spanish speaking).
This boy killed me.
As happy as he was to see his family, he was not ready to be done. If someone had offered him the choice, he would have turned right around and headed back to Colorado, 
not even having to think about it for a minute. 
To say he loved his mission doesn't
begin to describe it.
And so, he has committed himself to extending his missionary service to the Olympia, Washington area. On any given day, he can be found seeking out service and reaching out to those who are struggling. 
And in between all that he tries to work a job. :)
 What an example. 

And a couple of months later this Elder came home:
He served for 2 years in the Texas Lubbock Mission, 
also Spanish speaking.
I happened to witness the emotional moment 
he took off his tag (Sorry Cody).
It was heartbreaking.  
I never realized how hard that moment can be.
Especially when you have literally left everything on the field for Jesus, like Elder Backus did. 
You could just feel it.
I'm crying just remembering that moment. Ugh.

And now, in just a few short weeks, our year of missionaries culminates with Sister Paynter heading to the 
Raleigh, North Carolina Mission.
We are so excited for her.
I know it will be the hardest thing she has ever done and the courage it takes to make this decision is pretty intense.
But I can't wait to bask in her returned missionary glow in just 18 short months (Ha!)

And just because he didn't leave or return this year,
 let's not forget Elder Paynter.
He just passed his one year mark 
in the Mexico, Pachuca Mission.
I'll close with his amazing testimony:

"No one can truly understand the importance of the Atonement without reading the Book of Mormon. I know that it is true! I know that it can bless the lives of us as a Family! Don't stop reading the Book of Mormon, Mom!! I love the Gospel and know that only blessings and Eternal Life come through our Savior. I love him and love getting to know him more through my study of the Book of Mormon. My greatest Advice that I can give to Meghan as she is preparing, is to read the Book of Mormon. The greatest advice that I can give to all the kids is to read the Book of Mormon. IT IS TRUE! I know it is! I love it and hope to be able to have the opportunity to study it for every day of the rest of my Life!!"

Amen Elder.