Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I'm Staying Here

Hi Mom!

Just thought I'd send ya a quick note to let you know I'm not coming
home anymore and that I'm just going to stay up here!

Haha oh man time goes by so fast. Right now I'm on a plane flying down to Juneau for a few days with President and Sister Robinson for interviews and so that we can go on exchanges
with some of the Elders down there. It also so happens to be P-Day and the salmon are running so right when we land we're going to go hit the river and try and catch some salmon! Should be a pretty good start to the week :)

Most of this last week was spent with Brother Hemmingway going on
exchanges with him, planning for MLC (Missionary Leadership Council),
and then traveling around to various Zone Meetings! I can't believe
how fast it flew by!

Exchanges with Brother Hemmingway was amazing! It was super stressful
but I learned so much. He is just like a fountain of knowledge and I
was just like a sponge soaking it all up. Teaching with him was a
little bit intimidating but it worked out alright! Luckily that day it
was 90 degrees and we were in suits so we were able to blame all of
our sweat on the heat and not that we were so nervous! He took us out
to dinner that night and we had a chance to ask him questions and talk
about the mission and all that great stuff. While at dinner he asked
me a question and then said something that blew my mind. He asked me
how many people I wanted to find that ended up getting baptized before
the end of my mission. I told him that if I found a family I would be
really happy. He then asked me "Well have you asked the Lord where
they live?" That really threw me off for a while. It was so simple but
my entire mission I had never even thought about doing it. He talked
to us for a while about how this is the Lords work and He'll be
involved in it however much we'll allow him to be. That night he came
to our apartment to plan with us. In our plans from 3:30-5:30 we
decided that we were going to go tracting to find a family. In our
prayer he told us to tell the Lord that from 3:30-5:30 we were going
to go tracting and that we need him to tell us where a family lives
that we can baptize. After we had done so he said " now don't be late"
Well the next morning during comp study we pulled out a map and felt
prompted that at 3:30 we needed to go tract Bluebell drive and at 4:30
we needed to tract in Bear Valley. So we prayed and told the Lord that
was where we were going to be and asked him to place in our path a
family to baptized. Well 3:30 came around and we were running late so
we didn't actually start tracting till around 3:50. Everyone was nice
but no one was interested. We figured since we were late for the first
time we had better be on time for the 2nd one. Well we went over to
Bear Valley and to make a long story short we ended up finding 3
families to teach! The amazing thing was that we caught two of them
right as they were walking out the door and had we been there 30
seconds later we would have completely missed them. It really built my
testimony that the Lord will be in charge if we let him and that we
need to make our prayers specific and not general and then miracles
can happen!

Yesterday was Summer Solstice which is a pretty big deal around here!
It didn't get dark till around 1:00AM and then it started getting
light around 3:30!
Love you guys!

Elder Brown

Monday, June 15, 2015


This last Sunday we had THREE returned missionaries from the ward I'm serving in come home and speak. It was a little bit weird. I'm definitely not trunks (I'd seriously give anything to stay!) but I just never really felt that it would ever happen to me. I think I'm just going to come home and cry for a week straight. Well enough talk of that!

This week was a little bit crazy! Our total miles traveled ended up
being over 1600! Needless to say I'm getting pretty close to being an
MVP Alaska Airmiles member. On Tuesday we went back up to Fairbanks to
go on exchanges which was great! I got to see Nick who was someone
Elder McCusker and I taught right before his baptism. Friday night we
went down to Girdwood which is such a cool place! I'm definitely
taking you all there when you come! Later that night we drove down to
Kenai for exchanges again. Man are you in for a treat. I promise it
will be the most beautiful drive of your life! While down there I was
able to see sister McCubbins who knows dad really well and she's
excited to meet you on the 17th. Sadly the other one who knew him
really well passed away last week... I guess it's been a while since
he's been here.

Anyway brother Hemmingway comes on exchanges with us tomorrow... Dun
dun dun! We've been working so hard to set up lessons for him to come
to us with so now we're just praying that they don't fall through!
Pray for us! On Wednesday and Thursday we're going to meet with him
to discuss what we can do to help the missionaries and the mission so
I'm pretty excited to get to learn from him!

Have a great week!

-Elder Brown

Brother Hemmingway

Hey Motha!!

Well it sounds like things are about to get a little bit crazy with
all of the kids getting out of school this week! I'm super stoked for
you all to go and take Reggie out and get him all warmed up! That's so
crazy about Taylor... I'll definitely keep him in my prayers.

Well this week has been another great one! So a couple of weeks ago we
found out that Brother Hemmingway, who is the head of proselyting
(teaching investigators) for the entire Church if Jesus Christ of
Latter Day Saints is coming up to our mission next week. On one of the
days he's going to to spend shadowing and going on exchanges with us
in our area... After the exchange he's going to come back to our
apartment and watch how we plan. Talk about intimidating!! It's going
to be a little nerve racking but at the same time it will be a super
unique opportunity to learn from him! Luckily things have been going
really well in our area and everything has been picking up a bit. To
be honest this has been the hardest area of my mission so far. We have
the richest part of anchorage and it's just really hard to get the
people to let you in to teach him so all of our work almost has to
come from the members. This last week our mission president assigned
us another town called Girdwood which is a sweet little skiing village
in the mountains that we're going to be able to work with so hopefully
that helps!
This week I was able to go on exchanges with elders in an area called
inlet view and it was so great! They cover all of the down town area
of anchorage so the whole day we were on bikes and then we just walked
around talking to everyone on the streets and had so much success it
was insane! It's just really weird because my whole mission I've spent
out in the boonies on the dirt roads where you really have only one or
two shots a day to talk to someone walking around and that's if you
get lucky. I can't even imagine what it would be like to spend you
whole mission in a city... Anyway it was a blast!

Oh man mom today was probably the coolest thing (worldly wise) that
I've done in my life so far! So for P-Day we signed up to go on a
fishing charter up in Talkeetna. It's so beautiful up there! It was
$130 and you got a guide, a jet boat, and about 5 hours to fish. I
hope it wasn't a once in a lifetime opportunity but for that price it
was a screaming deal! The salmon aren't quite running yet so we were
fishing for Dolley Varden and Rainbows. To say it was a blast would be
an understatement! I'll send a bunch of pics from the trip! It was
raining pretty good but it was perfect weather for fishing and we all
caught quite a bit!

Anyway that's what's happening in my neck of the woods!

Love ya!

Elder Brown

Wasted P-Day

Hey mother!!

So for the hotel booking I think that anywhere in soldotna would be a
great place to stay! Just try and find a cheap one and it'll work! I
definitely want to introduce you to some people down in Kenai that
knew dad that would be pretty sweet! I'll think some more about it is
week and let you know then. So this morning we went on a big Mtn
biking trip back in the mountains behind anchorage so I kind of wasted
my p-day emailing time... There too many things to do and no time to
do it! Anyway I'm doing great! My new comps name is Elder Harris and
he's from Burley Idaho. We get along great and so it should be a fun
transfer! I promise I'll email more next week!

Love ya!

Give Me This Mountain

Hi mom! This week was transfers again so everything has been really
crazy so I don't have a ton of time to email but I just wanted to talk
about what you said at the end of your last email.

To be honest that's something that I've struggled with for a long long
time and it's also a concern that so many people that I run into or
talk to or teach have. They've had these terrible and awful trials
come into their lives and they want to know why God is punishing them
while their whole life all they've tried to do is to be good. Elder
Nielson, who spoke in the last General Conference came up to our
mission last week to train us on using our iPads. On thing he said
really stuck out to me. He said something like this- I don't
understand why when members of the church get a trial in their life or
a challenge they freak out. Our whole purpose in coming to this earth
is to be tried and tested. When trials come your way all that is is a
sign that gods plan is working- Joseph Smith in his Lectures on Faith
once said "a religion that does not require the sacrifices of all
things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto
life and salvation." In the Temple we also agree that we will live the
Law of Consecration meaning that we covenant to sacrifice all things,
even our very lives (or the lives of other people) for the Gospel. I
even think that means giving someone up for a small amount of time on
this earth. I'm sure you've seen it but go watch the Mormon message
"Mountains to Climb" on the gospel library app. I don't mean to be all
preachy but these are just some things that have helped me! Know that
I love ya mom!!!

-Elder Brown

Monday, May 18, 2015

Stellar Week

Well this week has just been pretty stellar if I do say so myself. President and Sister Robinson were in Salt Lake for meetings for the iPad training so we had a lot of time to work in our area! We decided that we spend so much time driving around in our car that we miss and simply pass by so many people that are out walking around that we could talk to. (We drive the mission van for our car which is a big silver  van name Geneva. Normally I hate vans but I love riding around in her! The only bad part is it's kind of the typical Mormon stereotype with two missionaries jumping out of a huge van haha. Anyway our area all on a hill so it's crazy steep. Needless to say it's definitely not the greatest biking area but we decided to troop it out anyway and it's been a blast!
This weekend we had our last Zone Conference so that's kind of a bummer that all of those are all over. 
Yesterday was just our day of miracles! We had a non member who had been coming to church for about a month commit to take the discussions with his family which is going to be so great! Also there was a family that we tracted into about 2 months ago that we had dinner with last night. The Mom grew up in the church until she was in her early teens and that dad grew up catholic. For months I had been praying every night that this family's hearts would soften and that they would be able to accept the gospel into their lives. Well we went over and had dinner with them and then had an awesome discussion on Eternal Families. All of that led into them asking all of these great questions about the gospel and concerns that they had. In the end the family also decided to take the lessons so now we're going to be teaching them as well!
Elder Babb goes home next week and so we're going to be getting my new companion, Elder Harris, this Thursday so that we can start training him up! 
Oh man this Wednesday ( we finally get our iPads... I'm pretty excited for them because they'll be able to help so much but then at the same time I'm a little bit nervous for our mission... Hopefully everyone is good and it all ends up working out in the end!

Well that's about what's happening up here!

Have a great week!

-Elder Brown

Monday, May 4, 2015

Hello MOTHER! :)

Haha I've got to say I've got to say that I love all of the embarrassing stories so keep them coming!  I feel like those kind of things happen a little bit more than usual to you... My all time favorite probably is the one when you thought it was dad sleeping in the back of the car but ended up being someone else... Good stuff :)
That's SO SWEET Lizzy made the drill team!!! I knew she would but I'm so excited for her! Is Jan really still coaching?? I thought that my senior year was going to be her last?? I guess she just can't walk away. 

This week has pretty much been the same old same old... We had the Anchorage Zone Conference earlier in the week and then after some meetings on Thursday we flew up to Fairbanks for their Zone Conference. I love that place so much. The night we flew in I got to go around and visit all of my recent converts and seem them again! The Gibbs are doing so great! It's been really cool to watch how their lives have changed from the time that they were baptized to now... It's been a complete turn around. Dawn when she got baptized was living in a small dry cabin, didn't have a job or drivers license, or any of that and now she has a nice job, car and place to live. They're a living testament of how the gospel really does change lives! 
Today should be a lot of fun. We're driving down to Soldotna and are going to go on a hike on the drive down and then to their Zone Conference tomorrow. Wednesday we have another one in Wasilla but then after that President Robinson goes out of town to a mission presidents seminar so we get the whole weekend to proselyte!!! WOHOO!! Haha I've never traveled so much in my entire life but it's going to be so nice to be able to just relax and spend some time in our area teaching people.

Hope you all have a great week!
Elder Brown