Neicia flew to Zambia by herself. This was a big daunting deal for her (and me) being an unseasoned traveler. In London she had a panic when she realized not long before she had to catch her flight to Johannesburg that her boarding pass from Johannesburg to Zambia said, “Not valid for travel.” She tried to get ahold of us and the Mission travel department but couldn’t get through to either. Not knowing what else to do she found a way onto facebook and sent me a message to see if I could call the Mission travel dept. and have them fix it. I had no way to let her know that all she had to do was take her ticket to the counter and they’d give her a boarding pass. She continued to try to call in the airport then on the plane. She told me she wouldn’t get back on facebook as she needed the Lord’s blessings and had to be obedient. Her last sentence in the message broke this mama’s heart. “Mommy, please don’t let me be stranded in a foreign country by myself.” I admit, I cried a few times. The dead silence every time we’d answer the phone and know she was trying to get us was horrible. I knew the fix was easy but she didn’t and that killed this mama. Her almost 12 hour flight to Johannesburg must have been so frightening. I’m sure she learned a lesson during that time as all she had to rely on was herself and the Lord. I can’t wait to hear all about it. Here’s the email notice I received in the wee hours this morning…yes, I was awake watching for it.
“Mommy, it’s Neicia!! I’m safe!! Turns out they just print off the tickets at Johannesburg!! Tell the girls and the boys I love them!! Hope you got my letters!!! Gonna go take a nap now!! Love you guys!!! Make sure you all email me!!”
I think she’s really enjoying herself….made clear by the caps and exclamation points. I love my girl’s infectious exuberance.
HEY EVERYBODY!!! THANKS TO THOSE WHO SENT ME EMAILS!!! THAT MADE MY WHOLE DAY!! IF YOU DIDN’T EMAIL DO!!!!
SO I’VE BEEN HER FOR 8 DAYS NOW!!! ITS WEIRD!! IT FEELS LIKE I’VE BEEN HERE FOR AT LEAST 3 WEEKS!!! THE TIME IS DIFFERENT HERE!!! ITS LIKE YOUR DAY IS SOOOOO LONG AND WHEN YOU LOOK BACK YOU CANT REMEMBER LIFE OUTSIDE THE MTC BUT AT THE SAME TIME WHEN YOUR’E IN THE MOMENT IT FEELS LIKE TIME IS FLYING!!! ITS CRAZY!!! THE CRAZIEST THING THOUGH IS THAT I ONLY HAVE 4 MORE DAYS LEFT!!! I ONLY HAD TO BE HERE FOR 12 DAYS!! I THINK IT IS BECAUSE OF THANKSGIVING OR SOMETHING!! NORMALLY I WOULD BE HERE FOR 2 1/2 WEEKS!! I LOVE IT HERE BUT I AM READY TO BE OFF TO MY MISSION!! I’VE WAITED SO LONG!
I GUESS THAT’S THE SPIRIT THOUGH!!! ITS SO COOL HERE!! I HAVE COME SO MUCH CLOSER TO HEAVENLY FATHER AND TO JESUS CHRIST!! ITS AMAZING!!! I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT HERE!! A LOT OF THE MISSIONARIES ARE STRUGGLING AND HAVE ANXIETY AND STUFF AND I AM JUST ENJOYING IT!!! I AM THE HAPPIEST I’VE EVER BEEN!!
SO I AM SICK WHICH SUCKS, BUT OH WELL!!! ITS JUST AWESOME TO BE HERE AND I THANK GOD IN MY PRAYERS EVERYDAY!!!
SO PRAYERS, I HAVE NEVER PRAYED SO MUCH IN A DAY THAN I DO HERE!!! WE PRAY CONSTANTLY!!! ITS COOL!!! I USED TO TRY TO HIDE THE FACT THAT I AM PRAYING, MAKE IT INCONSPICUOUS BUT HERE YOU WALK DOWN THE HALLWAYS AND THERE ARE MISSIONARIES PRAYING ALL OVER!!! ITS AMAZING!!! I FEEL SO COMFORTABLE HERE!!! LIKE SERIOUSLY I PRAY MAYBE 20ISH TIMES A DAY!! ITS THE BEST!!!
SO THE STUPIDEST THING I’VE DONE SO FAR IS THIS:
IT’S MORNING AND I WANT A TOASTED BAGEL! WHEN IT IT’S DONE I LOOK AT THE OPTIONS OF TOPPINGS, PEANUTS BUTTER, JELLY AND CREAM CHEESE!! I CHOOSE CREAM CHEESE OF COURSE!!! LOTS AND LOTS OF CREAM CHEESE!!! FEELING HAPPY AND EXCITED TO DIG IN, I SIT DOWN, SAY A PRAYER, AND THEN BITE INTO MY BREAKFAST!!! AS SOON I DO SO I KNOW SOMETHING IS WRONG!! IMMEDIATELY I SPIT OUT MY ONCE PROMISING FOOD AND REALIZE, THEY WHIP THEIR BUTTER
AT THE MTC!!! THAT WAS FUN…
SO THE MOST SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE WAS WHEN I WAS TEACHING, FOR THE FIRST TIME-A REAL INVESTIGATOR, AND I FELT PROMOTED TO SING TO HER! MY COMP AND I SANG HER “LOVE ONE ANOTHER.” SHE HAS GONE THROUGH SO MANY TRIALS IT MADE ME SO SAD. BUT AS WE SANG SHE JUST SAT THERE AND BAWLED!! WHEN WE WERE DONE WE WERE ALL JUST CRYING OUR EYES OUT BECAUSE THE SPIRIT WAS SO STRONG!! IT WAS THE COOLEST THING EVER!!!
SO WE GOT A TON OF NEW MISSIONARIES IN YESTERDAY!! BECAUSE OF THANKSGIVING THEY DOUBLED UP SO WE ADDED TWENTY TO OUR ZONE AND ITS CRAZY!!! MOST ARE GOING TO WASHINGTON AND TO TEXAS! SOME ARE GOING TO SALT LAKE AND THEN SOME ARE GOING TO A VISITERS CENTER BUT I DON’T REMEMBER WHICH STATE!! I AM THE ONLY ONE GOING FOREIGN IN MY DISTRICT AND AN ELDER AND I ARE THE ONLY ONES GOING TO AFRICA OUT OF THE WHOLE MTC!! THAT MADE ME FEEL SPECIAL!!! THERE ARE A COUPLE THOUSAND MISSIONARIES HERE!!
SO HOW IS LIFE FOR EVERYBODY!? I WANT RESPONSES!! DON’T LEAVE ME HANGING!! ALSO SEND ME LETTERS ON “DEAR ELDER!!” ASK MY MOM HOW!!! I AM THE ONLY ONE IN MY DISTRICT THAT HAS ONLY GOT ONE LETTER!! ITS A BUMMER!! TWICE A DAY WHEN THE MAIL IS HANDED OUT I GET JUST A LITTLE SAD!!!
ANYWAYS I LOVE YOU ALL, YOUR’E AWESOME, THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!! IT REALLY DOES MEAN A LOT TO ME!! 🙂
SISTER NEICIA MARIE BROWNING!!
P.S. I HAVE TO FLY ALL THE WAY TO ZAMBIA BY MYSELF… 23 HOURS, JUST COUNTING FLIGHTS NOT COUNTING THE LAYOVERS!! I LEAVE MONDAY AND EVERYBODY ELSE DOESN’T LEAVE UNTIL TUESDAY NIGHT WEDNESDAY MORNING!
My companion is Sister Lee. She’s from Houston, Texas. My P-day is on Thursday. They gave us this form to write a letter to you on. They didn’t say we were only limited to the lines on the paper! Tender mercies! So it’s Thursday now but it feels like I’ve been here a week not day two. It’s CRAZY how full our days are. My first day was great! I already got to teach! The spirit is so strong here! Everyone in my district is going to Washington So it’s just me! It’s fun. My comp is okay! She is 22. I am amazed by how many older sisters there are. Sister Dale is 25! She’s in my district! I like it here! Tomorrow I’ll get a calling! I’m excited.
So a little info on how we teach here. People, non-members/investigators, or members can be hired to come in and get taught by us. So I taught this one guy names Chi-Cho (non-member) and we actually were able to get him to accept our message. Well, God’s message! I really am loving it here. It is awesome and way happy! It’s crazy how much I have learned in just under 48 hours! Sleep is murder but I am very happy and evidently always smiling! I ran into Sister Hubert today! That was awesome!
The spirit here is so strong I understand why it’ll be so hard to be released! Also, I now understand how hard it’ll be for an investigator to not accept the truth! That hasn’t happened yet but I already love the people I’m teaching.
Visa? Where/how/when/ do I get it?
Just got back from the gym. It’s the first bit of free time I’ve really had So my zone has this weird game/prank thing I didn’t know about! Now I do…It’s called banana. So yesterday I am at lunch and grab a banana. Sit down and begin eating it. Sister Bell (she’s the one who emailed you for me) yells, “We’ve got a banana!” So the district that came last week in our zone all have ipads. So they all take out the ipads while sister Bell explains, “You will now begin eating the banana the way we tell you to.” They converse secretly with one another and then announce that I’ll be eating my banana like an elephant! What! I am also to try and make elephant noises in the process! I gained respect! At first I tried putting my nose (trunk) into it. Then decided pretending my hand was a trunk was better! It was actually really hard!
Tell Kalten, Trevin and Allison I love them and I want a letter from them pronto that way I can wrote back next Thursday. I love you all and miss you but I am way happy! Love Sister Neicia Browning (Getting used to that!)