Well it seems like elder brown had an amazing 2017. He spent the majority of it in Lubbock, which he thoroughly enjoyed. He loved getting to know the people there and was able get super close with some of the members. They are now like a second family to him.

Chance is currently serving in San Angelo and seems to be liking it there. He is with elder Terry right now and they seem to be having a great time! He is a super neat elder and we have received texts from a few people in San Angelo who think these two missionaries are outstanding young men. It always puts a smile on my face to get a random text and picture and hear such positive feedback from the people he is serving.

We were able to spend close to an hour talking to Chance on Christmas Day! It was one of the best Christmas presents for our whole family! He looked great and hearing him laugh and bear his testimony was amazing! I can’t believe how much he has changed, yet he is so much the same! He hasn’t lost his sense of humor which I’m so happy about!

Well, we can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store for elder brown! He still has a ways to go and we are enjoying every minute of being a missionary family. We love the emails and spiritual thoughts and we love to see his pictures roll in from week to week. He still has a thing for cars, animals and dressing up! And those pictures are usually the best! Happy new year!!

Skype calls, insects and amphibians, Christmas gifts and monthly care packages. Just a few of the great things we get to experience while having chance serve a mission!

Here are a couple of my favorite spiritual thoughts from chances emails-

One of Satans greatest tools is Inadequacy. He will slip it in wherever, whenever, and however we can because as soon as he can make us feel inadequate then we start to lose our self worth and we start to forget that we are sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. As soon as we forget that then we start to give way to temptation and thats when satan has us. please know that if you ever feel inadequate it is from satan and that our heavenly father loves us way to much to make us feel like we wont ever measure up.

My spiritual thought this week comes from Helaman 9:2. It talks about how Nephi was preaching to the people and he told them that they would find their chief Judge dead and it talks about 5 men who run to the judgement seat to see if they can prove the prophet wrong. The past couple times i have read this scripture i have thought about how these 5 guys were jerks for trying to prove the prophet wrong but this past time i thought about how many of us are running to see if the prophets words are true?? Its pretty easy sometimes to just believe that their words are true but i dont think they would have general conference twice a year if they wanted us to just believe them. I believe they truly want us to run and see, test and prove their words so we can gain a stronger testimony and draw closer to our Savior!

My spiritual thought this week comes from 2 Ne. 10:20. Jacob is talking about how they were driven from the land of their inheritance to a better land. I realized when we have trials that in a way we feel like we are being driven from the land of our inheritance. We are driven from where we feel comfortable and safe and happy through a really uncomfortable and unhappy time but there is always a promised land waiting on the other side of that trial because just like it says in 2 Ne. 2:24 “But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of Him who knoweth all things.”

If you get the chance look up elder Holland’s Christmas story. It’s kind of long so I can’t share it here but it’s one of the best stories I have heard in a long time. It will put things into perspective for you. It definitely did me!! It’s one of my favorite stories Chance has shared with us.

This one is kind of long too but I love it!! Everything isn’t what it seems.

This week me and Elder Terry were talking about how sometimes we are doing everything we are supposed to be doing and it seems like we arent being blessed and it reminded me of a story i heard one time and so i thought i would share it because maybe for instance we are paying our tithing like we should be but it doesnt seem like we are receiving blessings or maybe we are reading and praying everyday but we still dont see the strength coming from it but i think this story gives a good insight into our hidden blessings. Love yall!

Two traveling angels stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family. The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion’s guest room. Instead the angels were given a small space in the cold basement.

As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it. When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied, “Things aren’t always what they seem.”

The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night’s rest.

When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field.

The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel: “How could you have let this happen? The first man had everything, yet you helped him”, she accused. “The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let the cow die.”

“Things aren’t always what they seem,” the older angel replied. “When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn’t find it.”

“Then last night as we slept in the farmer’s bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave him the cow instead. Things aren’t always what they seem.”

My Spiritual thought this week comes from Helaman 3:29-30. It talks about how the word of God will lead us in a strait and narrow course across the Gulf of Misery to land our immortal souls next to God. When i read it i just thought of each of us as chartering our ship through this life. We need the Word of God to do it so i found three things that the word of God is to our ship. 1. In Ether 12:4 it talks about how faith is an Anchor. The word of God builds our faith so the word of God in a way is the Anchor to our ship. When the storms of life come against us we have an anchor to keep us safe. 2. The Liahona worked according to the obedience of Lehi and his family and we know what to be obedient to through the scriptures so the word of God is a compass leading us from the Port of Pre-Existence to the Port of Exaltation. 3. Liahona is a Hebrew word. It literally translates in God is Light. The word of God is also our light house on the shore warning us of the stumbling blocks and rocks that Satan throws at us and giving us a target to aim for. The word of God is our Anchor, Compass, and Lighthouse and with those three things there is no reason why we shouldnt “land our souls, yea, our immortal souls, at the right hand of God in the kingdom of Heaven, to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and with Jacob, and with all our holy fathers, to go no more out.”