I am Sister Brown.

Send me to my people.

Nevertheless a fact. June 13, 2010

I want to tell you about a place I used to go last summer. It’s called Seven Peaks. Seven Peaks is a very little water park, but it’s all we’ve really got around here as far as water parks go. The Peaks fills up fast with little kids in bulky swim diapers, scantily-clad teenagers sprawled across their towels on the astro turf, mothers in floral maternity swim wear trying to talk their kids out of wanting overpriced slices of pizza, and scattered groups of stir-crazy college students trying to make-up something extreme to do in the next 30 minutes before class.

I was thinking about this place today as I blow-dried my hair. I was thinking, specifically, about The Wave Pool, where 6 inches of shallow water swoops down to a 20 foot depth. For some reason I have never understood, wave pools only have waves in short, timed intervals. In between, everyone just floats on their tubes or bobs up and down treading water. At these times it seems a relatively calm place, full of the diapered children and scanty teenagers and floral moms and restless college kids I’ve told you about. The people are loud but the water itself is silent. The water is still. Everyone: waits.

Then, this awful buzzer sounds. For about ten dragging seconds the sheer nuisance of this noise pierces through the park and lets everyone know that the wave pool is now actually going to do what it’s supposed to.  And then, the waves come. They’re small at first, little traveling swells that displace each body a few inches higher, and then lower again. Moms at the shallowest part can be heard making enthusiastic noises at their bulky-diaper-bottomed babies. Gasp!-ing and Ooop!-ing and Ooooooh!-ing. But then the waves get bigger, and though everyone there came for these waves in the first place, though we’ve all been anticipating their return, and though we were all warned by the buzzer and lifted by the little beginning swells, there always seems to be a sense of panic in the water once the big waves come. A feeling of chaos, where the person’s head you could see just a second ago is now hidden by the next big wave, and kids are yelling and no one can hear you and you better watch out so you don’t get totally womped in the face by a surprise lift in the water or a kid on a kamikaze tube. At some point, a few kids doggy-paddle breathlessly for the sides of the pool, they hang on right under the lifeguard and cling safely to the wall ‘til it’s over. Some swim for shallower water, where their tiny dangling feet can touch the concrete bottom, at lease between waves.  A few of the big-butted babies have to be plucked from their 6 inches of water because it keeps becoming a whole foot tall as it breaks on the surface. No one is quiet, even the water is splashing over heads and sloshing onto the pavement. This is the scene I was re-living today.

Because before I was dryin my hair I was takin a shower, and before that I was sleeping in my bed, having tried all other answers for making a certain feeling go away. This feeling is something that showed up in my life sometime yesterday, something I’ve been trying to explain to myself every hour since. And today, while watching myself in the mirror as my bangs blew wildly out of control, I knew. I knew how to explain it! My life is a wave pool right now, and I’ve just heard the buzzer.

The buzzer came on like this: yesterday I received a text from my Bishop.

“Just checked the missionary website… your call was sent yesterday.”

Reality: It’s on the way.

As I read this, I felt something shift within me. It was something like a warning, a buzzer… and I knew distinctly that the water was about to get rougher. This is real: my call is on the way. Almost immediately, the opposition set in. Since then there have been little waves of fear. Little waves of panic. Big waves of opposition.

So big that when someone I really love laughed at my conviction, everyone else laughed back. Could they have been laughing at anything else? I couldn’t tell. I laughed too. So much that I cried, and then couldn’t stop crying, and then laughed overtop to cover it up.

So much that thoughts of Is-this-really-right-am-I-crazy-have-I-let-it-go-further-than-I-can-handle-am-i-ready-and-what-if-I-am, in fact, laughable? buzzered through my brain until I was clinging to the side and hanging my head so the lifeguard wouldn’t see that I was too tired to swim for shallower water.

So much that that night, as a last resort, I stared myself down in the mirror and reminded my own reflection who I was, and why I was, and what I absolutely will not back down about. Because if I were not supposed to go on this mission, I would feel that with a surety. It would come by the holy ghost ,which is calm and peaceful, and not by waves of whirlwind questions. It would never be enforced by fear and it would never, ever make me feel panicked.

But here’s the thing about wave pools, as high as the water may rise, you can’t whine. You knew this was going to happen. No one enters that twenty feet of water so they can just float around for a while. I am going on a mission. You are too, in some form or another, and we are prepared to fight the waves that will undoubtedly come in intervals for the remainder of this experience. I believe that God will give us sufficient intervals of calm, still water inbetween.

My call comes on Wednesday. Get ready.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?  Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: thought war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”

–Psalms 27:1,3,14


12 Responses to “Nevertheless a fact.”

  1. Odessa Wooten Says:

    Hi Sweet Lyndsi…what a great comparison of your wave pool and life – I have felt what you described many times and it is always so “unquiet and uneasy” when you are faced with great and life-changing events and decisions…I am excited about your missionary call but – at the same time – want you to be a little girl again just once more so we all can make sure you know how much we love you and how much Heavenly Father loves you too! We are given life to live without knowledge of what is in store – however, you know that your Heavenly Father is there and that you can rely on personal revelation through the Holy Ghost. You also know that you have received this often throughout your life. I have all the confidence in you and in your decisions. We are proud of our second granddaughter, Lyndsi Shae….We love you and am looking forward to hearing who will be lucky enough to have you in their mission.

  2. Melanie Bolton Says:

    Dear Lyndsi–

    It’s no wonder that Siovhan loves you. To describe your life as a wave-pool helps us to realize the emotions that you are going through. When you look at the things of the mission, one by one, and pick through what is giving you anxiety, then you will be able to see that the Lifeguard is actually reaching out his hand to you. The Holy Ghost is standing beside you in that pool and will lift your hand the Lifeguard’s outstretched hand, but only if you allow him to. You know, I keep using Sister Tanner’s mantra: “I can do hard things.” Sometimes when I say this, it is more in the form of a question: I can do hard things? But, it has me thinking, which helps me to see that I truly have done hard things, and will be able to do many more hard things. I know that you are the same. You will be able to do hard things. I am actually so excited to hear where you are going. Read the talk by Elder Rasband. It was very comforting to me to hear, after Braden’s call. http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=5de6b73f64838210VgnVCM100000176f620a____&vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD

    God bless you Lyndsi. I hope that there are many around you that will flow you life preservers. Sister Bolton

  3. Your Mama Says:

    You are awesome. I am glad you know that inspiration comes quietly – and is not confusing. It doesn’t come thru unkind laughter and it doesn’t nearly drown you either!

    You are good.
    You are loved by so many.
    You are getting ready to be loved by MANY more.
    Your life is going to continue to be an incredible journey.

    I am proud of you and I love you

  4. Stacey Harkey Says:

    wow! You always blow me away with your ability to express yourself. Im so glad you’ve heard the buzzer. It’s time for you to strap the ducky floats on your arms and head for the “deep end”. You are sooo prepared even if you dont know it. Your incredibly impressive inner strength and charity traits will team up and make you The Best. I really believe it. You’re amazing lyndsi shae!

  5. emily Says:

    hey honey…ive got some good and bad news for you. ill give you the bad first because thats what i would want. the bad news is, you will feel like this for the next 20-21 months. It stays this way for awhile, off and on. Dont worry its not you, its satan. You will never meet him more than you will on your mission. The good news is, you dont have to be afriad. You have your answer inside of you. When you need it, you can pull it out, feel it, remember all the details of it. You will learn how to overcome him. In literal -i feel like im joseph smith and i cant breathe because satan is so close right now- sitautions. You will conquor him. Its so beautiful. Never be afraid….just have faith. Because thats all you need to send those feelings away. Always just have unwavering faith in your invincible summer. Because that summer is God….he’s in you. Which means, you can do ANYTHING.

  6. Melanie Bolton Says:


    I left a comment earlier. I didn’t realize that you had all ready read the talk by Brother Rasband…so disregard that note. I have every bit of confidence that you can do hard things.

  7. Jordan Says:

    Lyndsi Shae-
    Don’t listen to the doubt. You’re going to change the world.

  8. Aunt Kimber Says:

    All I can say is Watch out “simple discussions”…I can see you re-writing them with more beauty and description than they have ever had…Who ever you end up teaching should be prepared to be dazzled with you ability to put thoughts into words….Although with your mastery of the english language, you will probably be sent somewhere where you will have to learn a new one…..Watch out Japan! I love you and I am proud of you! Can’t wait to hear where ou are going….

  9. Dawn Says:

    Wow! I Can’t believe you are going on a mission. You make me feel so old. I remember carrying you around and everyone thought you were mine. I am proud of the woman you have become. Don’t be afraid to do what the lord has prepared for you to do. I wish I had gone on a mission when I had the chance. I had to experience life before I learned not to let fear hold me back.
    I love ya, kid. I know you will be a great missionary!

  10. Lyndsi, I want you to know that I am so proud of you for your decision to serve a mission. I love your description of the wave pool and how it feels. I’ve felt those feelings too; but in no way could have expressed them as beautifully as you did. You are a special spirit and I know the Lord has a great work for you to do. Didn’t he say that he saved the best and strongest spirits to the last days? Stay true to your convictions and press on!!!
    I love you and pray for you every day.

  11. I’m excited for Wednesday!

  12. Lindsey Says:

    Lynds love! I miss you and feel that we need to have a weekend or a week night (several) together because I miss you and we have so much to catch up on…call me soon love you and can’t wait to here where your going…ps i’m so proud of you..pss i will write you…and send you packages…psss..your bday is just days away…lets plan!!!! love ya

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