Monday, January 30, 2017


Hello, hello, hello! From northern Louisiana! How are y'all doing this fine spring morning? Oh...wait. It's not spring??? But the sun is shining and the breeze is brisk here. I suppose Louisiana is a tad confused.

This week is transfer week! And there are absolutely no changes happening to the Brownlee Sisters. Sister May and I will be going for round two! What the Lord has in store for us at the end of this six weeks, we have no idea, but we're excited to see what will happen as we labor together in this part of the Lord's vineyard.

This week was pretty awesome, not gonna lie to y'all. This is what the Louisiana folks would call "lagniappe" (said lan-yap). A little something extra and good. Week seven was definitely that. We had a missionary broadcast on Wednesday where we were taught by the Missionary Executive Committee. They answered questions, gave us insights on our areas, and also announced rather important changes that will be happening to the missionary schedule. If you want further details, see Mormon Newsroom.

That Saturday, the Mississippi Jackson Mission had a unique opportunity. In the wee hours of the morning, those of us cast into the far reaches of the Shreveport Zone loaded a charter bus. Concealed in the darkness, we picked up the missionaries in the Monroe Zone and began our lengthy journey to Clinton, Mississippi.

We were all bristling with excitement. Dressed in our best, we arrived in Clinton around eight thirty in the morning. Bus by bus, every zone in the mission was unloaded into the Clinton building. No shouts of excitement were passed between companions, no hugs of reunion were shared -- we filed into the chapel, then eventually into rows in the gym where we took a mission photo. We sang some songs, the voices of a hundred and sixty-five elders and sisters echoing around the gym. There is something special about a group of the Lord's servants singing praises to Him all at once; it brings a certain Spirit that I can't describe.

Before we were to depart into the chapel again, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland* entered the gym. He was followed by an entourage of Elder Bluth, Elder Uceda, and President and Sister Olson. We had been singing "Come, Come Ye Saints" when they walked in. We stopped rather abruptly after the first verse. In response, Elder Holland said, "Well, don't stop on our account!"

Brothers and sisters, we were able to be guided and enlightened by some of the most spiritual people I have ever had the privilege of breathing the same air as. There was pulpit-pounding, knotted throats, primary songs, and the strongest Spirit I've been blessed to feel. This was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I am so thankful for it.

I know that there are Apostles on the earth today. I capitalize that word because they are Apostles like those of old -- like Peter, James, John, Paul. Apostles we read about, quote, and love. Elder Holland is just like them, as a very, very special witness of Jesus Christ. He knows and loves His Savior. He loves each and every one of us.

My testimony was strengthened of those modern-day Apostles that we do have. I know that the same power Jesus Christ held, that He passed to His Apostles is again on the earth. We have all the keys, ordinances, and rites that the primitive Church had. I know it is here. I know it is where God is leading His children, if we are willing to follow Him and His Son.

To follow Him is to be a disciple, brothers and sisters. We are here to learn to be disciples. I am so thankful to be able to walk as Christ did, to teach as He taught, and to feel as He felt. There are things we cannot explain in this world, but I do know that God loves His children. I do know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and I know we must do all we can to follow Him. He does not expect perfection in this life; He just needs us to try. He needs us to be better. And when we are better, He will come.

I love you all. I hope you know that. This is a time to rejoice! The fullness of the gospel is on the earth again! There is no greater work in which to be engaged than that of bringing souls unto Christ.

Follow Him. You'll see His light. He will lead you through your prisons, and you will come out stronger than ever before.

Have a wonderful week. I'll have more stories next week.



Sister Rose

* For more info on Elder Holland, see

That moment when all you do is take pictures with your companion. I'll get better at photos next week!! We managed to match on Saturday!!! Aren't we just the cutest? <3

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


That is an indirect prayer to God. This was taught to me by Eckankar. What is Eckankar, you may ask? I don't actually know much about their beliefs, but they're all very kind people. I got to talk to a big group of them Sunday at World Religion Day. Wanna know what that is? Stay tuned for more.

Good morning, y'all!

Just so y'all know, we missionaries have not been swept away by the many tornadoes that seem to be gracing this edge of the United States. We are all very safe and very much in one piece. No worries!

Sister May and I had quite the interesting week. We've both wondered how Louisiana can hold so much water and not yet sunk into the ocean because of it. We're learning how to let our shoes dry, how to let rain coats drip, and how to enjoy never having a good hairstyle.

The most eventful day of our week was probably Sunday After church, Sister May and I were whisked away to Shreveport for World Religion Day. This is World Religion Day's eighteenth year. It's an event open to spiritual groups to set up booths and answer questions. It is a place for all of us to unite in a state of peace, and also in awe of whatever higher power in which we believe.

Some religious groups that were involved yesterday included:
Ár nDraíocht Féin (A Druid Fellowship)
Roman Catholicism
Eckankar -- Religion of the Light and Sound of God
Egyptian Paganism
Unitarian Universalism
and, Us! The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

I learned so much from all of these people! It is amazing to see people coming together and uniting in their faiths. I was surrounded by people who were so strong and solid in their faith, who were so kind and so willing to listen to mine, and who were so loving toward their fellowmen. Some of us didn't have the same foundation at all, some of us did; some of us wouldn't normally have anything to do with each other, but we all were able to come together and be brothers and sisters.

As Sister May and I walked around the gym, collecting pamphlets, eating lavender cookies, listening to the music of others' spirituality, I felt something in me swell. I felt a feeling of belonging, seeing all of our different puzzle pieces. We didn't all match perfectly, but we were all part of the same puzzle trying to find the right picture.

I am so thankful to have been able to set aside the conflicts for a day. Our differences were thrown before one another, but we received them all with love. Our similarities were more apparent than before, and we were able to create a religious community between all of us as we tried to work together on topics of social unity, moral issues, and the like.

This morning I read an interesting scripture in the book of Alma. Previously in this same book, a small civil war began amongst a group called the Nephites. They separated into "king-men" and "freemen." Or, those who wanted a king and those who wanted to keep their democracy, respectfully. In chapter 60, Captain Moroni -- an army captain -- writes an epistle to the chief governor in a time of war. The Nephite troops are in desperate need of assistance and provisions, but no help has come from the government. Angry, Moroni writes this epistle to call the chief governor, Pahoran to repentance and demands that he send help. These verses are included in his epistle:

For were it not for the wickedness which first commenced at our head, we could have withstood our enemies that they could have gained no power over us.

Yea, had it not been for the war which broke out among ourselves; yea, were it not for these king-men, who caused so much bloodshed among ourselves; yea, at the time we were contending among ourselves, if we had united our strength as we hitherto have done; yea had it not been for the desire of power and authority which those king-men had over us; had they been true to the cause of our freedom, and united with us, and gone forth against our enemies, instead of taking up their swords against us, which was the cause of so much bloodshed among ourselves; yea, if we had gone forth against them in the strength of the Lord, we should have dispersed our enemies, for it would have been done, according to the fulfilling of his word (15-16).

As I read this, I reflected on World Religion Day. I think too often we are focused on our differences; we don't see the light in each other. While I am a firm believer in "One Lord, one faith, one baptism" as Paul teaches, I know that there are specks of light all around us. I do not know everything, but I know God loves each and every one of His children uniquely and equally. He wants all of them to find everlasting happiness, and He respects our ability to choose.

Brothers and sisters, let us not separate ourselves because of our differences. If we let ourselves slip and slide because of such little things, we will not be able to stand together, even as Moroni says above. We are to be united to stand; we are to work together to create a better community, a greater love, and in doing so we will create a better world.

Be kind to one another, even as Jesus Christ taught. Jesus Christ has exhorted us to love one another, even as He does; to share His goodness with everyone; to serve even as He would. We are His hands in the work. Let us be united in that.


Have a good week!


Sister Rose

The Bellews!!!!! I'll miss them. They're in the Blanchard ward!

The sunset in Benton! <3

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Keep It Secret. Keep It Safe.

Good rainy morning to y'all! How was your week? Cold? Ours wasn't. It was literally climbing into the high eighties this past week. I literally can't even remember how I dressed for warm weather anymore. Oh, well. Good thing it's raining instead!

Sister May and I have been busy bees this week. (That might be a Mormon joke if you live in Utah.) We've been teaching and preaching and working as missionaries do. We were able to teach a wonderful lesson to a wonderful person this week. He's an investigator who's a little rough around the edges. We found him while walking along the side of the road, and Sister May crossed the road and talked to him. We've been teaching him the doctrine of repentance.

I can imagine myself on his doorstep. It was cold, a nice bone-chilling breeze gently brushing by. He was holding a Book of Mormon, front cover bent so he could read the right page. Leaning against the wall casually, he listened intently. The Spirit surrounded the porch as we asked him about the Book of Mormon, about knowing if Joseph Smith was a prophet, about praying to know if this is true.

"How does all of this make you feel?" we'd asked him.

He paused for a moment. "Happiness. Peace," he said. He smiled. "Like sunshine."

I felt in my chest this tightness, this swelling emotion that moved me to bear my testimony. In that instance, Sister May and I felt the Spirit so strongly as we told him what those feelings meant. I'd liken it to a section in the Book of Acts, chapter two:

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (37-38).

We asked him to be baptized. He's considering it, and we are praying for him.

This gospel moves people to change. There are things we must do to show our obedience to the commandments, just as Jesus Christ did His entire life. As we come to know Him and be more like Him, as the Spirit touches us, we will be asked to change.

Yesterday, we met at the Brownlee building with the Monroe Zone for a combined Zone Conference. Weird, right? President Olson squeezed us into the little chapel to give us words of inspiration, revelation, and love. I'm so thankful that this mission is led by him. I know he has been called of God to lead the Mississippi Jackson Mission. The progress I've seen since I arrived has been absolutely phenomenal and I know that, of course, every part of the mission works to push it forward but it makes a huge difference when our mission president is consecrated and concentrated on his purpose. Thank you, President Olson.

I'm so grateful to be in this mission, to watch it change, and to see a change in myself and those around me.

I'm so thankful for change.

Heavenly Father has made me into someone I never imagined becoming. I am better, not great, but better than who I once was. I am so thankful to be a "disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God...called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life" (3 Nephi 5:13).

I am so thankful to be a missionary. I am so thankful to be a missionary at this time, in this place, with these people. Life is so inspired, brothers and sisters! Goodness! Heavenly Father is just waiting to pour out immense blessings upon us!

Be better than you were. Feel the sunshine. Be happier. Seek the Spirit. You will find it.

See y'all next week!



Sister Rose

That moment when the elders in your district decide to drink a blended Happy Meal


Sincere compliments from Sister May.

That moment when you're so unified that you step out of your closets like this.

Homies from the past. I LOVE YOU, SISTER STEADMAN.

You're pretty chill, Elder Pierre-Louis. Have fun in the Monroe Zone!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Missionary Lingo:
Stake: a collection of wards and branches in a single geographic area. For example, the Biloxi, Long Beach, Gulfport, Orange Grove, Ocean Springs (and many other) wards make up the Gulfport Stake.

If anything describes my companion perfectly, it would be this experience we had yesterday:

Whilst walking from house to house, Sister May and I were enthralled in a conversation about our future homes. Dressed in her Sunday best, Sister May was sporting a bright blue dress spotted with white polkadots. Keeping her warm were black tights, boots, and brightly colored socks. Turning to me, she said seriously, "You know what I've always wanted? A coffee table with a little slide-out compartment where you can put your guns."

Oh, Sister May.

Good morning, y'all! It's a very cold day here in Louisiana. Is it freezing out there, too? I'm sure it is since I keep seeing photos of snow! I've forgotten what that stuff looks like. Build some snowmen for me!

This week, quite a bit happened! First of all, I had the opportunity to go to Stonewall, Louisiana on exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders. I am blessed to yet again have Sister Conder as my STL -- along with her past trainee, Sister Marble! They're both lighting Stonewall on fire and blessing the lives of many, and have both blessed mine. I was able to spend a full day in Stonewall with Sister Conder. They are both experiencing some unexpected changes to their ward, and I pray that they will receive the insights and the strength they need to do all the Lord asks of them in the coming month.

Other changes have also happened to this area. You see, the Shreveport Stake has been revised, divided, and reset.

As of Sunday, the Brownlee, Bossier, and Shreveport wards met at the stake center in Shreveport for a "special meeting." We missionaries have known about this top secret meeting for about a month now, but we have been trying to keep it on the down-low until yesterday.

The Brownlee ward has been split in half. We now have the Blanchard and Brownlee wards in this area of Louisiana, as well as a reinstated branch in Minden. The Bossier ward will now meet in Shreveport. The Spanish group is now attached to the Brownlee ward.

I had the opportunity to see a bishop and his counselors get set apart on Sunday -- a privilege few have. I'm very thankful to have been able to feel the Spirit in that room as Brother Adams was given the keys to preside over the Blanchard congregation as their bishop. I know that the Lord's priesthood authority is in this Church, and has been passed down from generations since Jesus Christ's ministry. I am so thankful to have access to that power as I rely on the priesthood holders around me.

Amidst all of this ward splitting, the missionary boundaries have not been redone. Until then, us missionaries in the Bossier area are going to be rather tossed in the air until next Monday at Zone Conference! It will be bucket loads of fun. I love a new challenge to tackle!

As we face new challenges, I am grateful to have the gospel knowledge that I do. I can find peace in the largest of difficulties and the smallest of obstacles. I believe Peter wrote it the best when he said:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you (1 Peter 5:8-10).

Those who do not have the knowledge of the restored gospel will face challenges, even the same challenges we do. Having a knowledge of the truth does not exempt you from trials or tribulations; not knowing the truth also does not exempt you from certain blessings -- like a job you wanted, a marriage you worked for, relationships you built, and so on.

But, the point in having the restored gospel is having the eternal perspective in all things. The Lord has molded my life little by little, and is making me better as I see Him in all of my trials, blessings, and shortcomings. When we have an eternal perspective -- meaning, we know the goal and the end result -- then can we stand steadfast in the faith and be "perfected, stablished, strengthened, and settled." We know that our trials come to us in order to strengthen us, and to make us more like our Father in Heaven.

Our goal is to become like Him by learning about Jesus Christ. It is through Jesus Christ that we are saved, that we receive a fullness of joy. I know that. There is peace in that.

The restored gospel offers a heavenly peace that nothing else can. I know that this is where the missing pieces lie. I know that no matter what, if we are seeking for God's will and aligning ours with His, then we will be able to withstand the trials of life and know that in the end we will be refined, better, and even more worthy to stand in the presence of God.

Remember to "[cast] all your care upon him," brothers and sisters. "For he careth for you," as Peter writes (7).

He loves you. He cares for you. Don't be afraid of change, for He is trying to change you for the better.

Have a good week.

See y'all next Tuesday!



Sister Rose

Look at this familiar face!

 That moment when your fountain freezes in Louisian

I love serving in the South!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Chocolate Gravy

Good morning, y'all! It's a lovely day here in Louisiana. We're in for a cold front this week, but we're so prepared. Hopefully. We'll see.

Oh, and -- HAPPY NEW YEAR! It's 2017! Can you believe that? I remember starting at my face on the T-Board in the mission home and seeing "15-17" written underneath my name. I never thought I'd see the year 2017. Hilarious.

How was your New Year's? Wonderful? Full of fireworks? Did you make any new resolutions? We sure did! We celebrated with some biscuits and chocolate gravy (thank you, Brother and Sister Bellew!) and goal-setting. I'm so excited for the goals we've set for this area. 2017 will truly be an amazing year for Brownlee.

We've had some super neat experiences as of late. Once again, my testimony of God's perfect timing has been fortified. Everything that happened this week was so perfectly timed, and a lot of it revolved around one annoying, unseemly factor -- my broken foot.

Now, I did not actually break my foot. It's perfectly fine. It's just a little sore, I suppose. See, since it was the end of the month, Sister May and I were trekking on foot. Whilst moving through ankle-high grass on the side of the road, my left foot began to complain incessantly. Sharp, sore pains jutted into the side of my foot and around my arch. I wasn't sure what was going on, especially since the pain kept going for a few days.

Because of that, we alternated between walking and driving. We were wandering around Benton listening to the Christmas tunes blaring from speakers atop a church building. Benton is a fairly quiet town. It's very small with many churches to pick from. Very few people (if any at all) were walking the streets of Benton, and they didn't seem to be in their homes either. Even so, we managed to find someone also out for a walk to teach. We had a wonderful street lesson with him. He had awesome insights and had a desire to know more! I'm so thankful we were walking so that we could see him!

After this experience, we hopped over to Haughton. Haughton, unlike Benton, is always busy. Cars whizzed by us as we stood on the shoulder of the road, contemplating whether or not my foot could handle a walk to a potential investigator's home.

Scowling, I admitted that my foot couldn't handle that. So, we hopped into the car and parked elsewhere. We began a shorter trek to that potential's home. We hadn't seen him in a good handful of weeks, and we were worried he was losing interest or even that the Lord didn't want us to visit him anymore.

As his house came into view, we aimed for his front door. Just then, a car flew past us and pulled into the driveway. Out of the car was the exact person we'd wanted to talk to! We were so excited! And so was he! We talked to him for a bit, all three of us a little awed at the perfect timing. We made an appointment to come and teach him.

I know that the Lord lets things happen for a reason -- even a little sore foot. He knows what will happen, and what will affect the choices we're going to make. The Lord knows us perfectly. He knows every single child on this earth perfectly -- even those who don't know He's there.

I'm so glad I'm able to know that. The restored gospel has offered me and my family more than we could ever imagine. I'm so thankful to know the truths that I do -- that God is truly my loving Heavenly Father, that He gave us His Son so that one day we could all live together as eternal families in God's presence.

Christ's atonement swallowed the sting of death. Because of Jesus Christ, we are not subject to the endless darkness of physical death. A free gift to all mankind -- righteous and unrighteous -- is that we are able to live again because Christ also lived again. We focus rather greatly on Jesus Christ's death, and we should. That was an incredibly important part of the atonement, but we must also remember that He lived.

As Isaiah says, "He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it."

Through the ordinances and principles in the restored gospel, we are able to live forever with our families in perfected, immortal bodies. And all this because of the atonement of Jesus Christ. We must hold to our covenants, remember Him, and know that we have a loving and merciful God who is waiting for us to come home.

Have a happy new year, y'all.



Sister Rose
That moment when you're walking in the dark and sit on a rock with your companion.

Here, have some Bossier!

My favorite sign EVER

Is the dotted line marking a pipeline or leading everyone to the Baptist church? The world may never know. 

Also that moment when you're trying to see an investigator and a train gets in your way.