Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas

Holy Moley family. Well there's so much I need to tell you about these last two weeks but not enough time so I'll have to fill you in on Christmas!

It sounds like things have been really crazy lately! I've gotta say you were making my mouth water when I saw all of those pictures of the cookies and caramel pretzels you made this year... oh man I miss those!! Ok next year I have a new goal. I've only been to Temple Square to see the lights once and I was so little. Plus i've never even seen the statue of Christ or been to any of the visitors centers or museums so next year that's a must see. In the pictures of dad's grave it looked like there's no snow! Hopefully you get some before Christmas or else you'll definitely just be dreaming for a white Christmas. The snow here was running pretty thin until it finally snowed yesterday and is supposed to today and then on Christmas! Oh the missionaries made you miss Kate? Ouch... But it sounds like the missionaries have been following you everywhere.

These last two weeks have just shot by and been really crazy! I don't even know if I told you this but turns out that I'm training Sister Wright's Nephew Elder Jensen! It's been a blast so far. We are pretty different but we get along really great and it's going to be a pretty fun three months :) Starting off in the new area (Beach Lake) was pretty ruff. The last Elders in here left us nothing to work with so we spent the first week just going around meeting everyone and all of our investigators. We went in to church on Sunday and one of the people we were teaching, Michael, walked up to us and said "I want to be baptized this Saturday. What do I need to do to make it happen?" Well we both were pretty shocked but super excited so we were able to teach him the rest of the lessons and he was baptized last Saturday! Even though we've been running around with our heads chopped off we've been able to see a whole lot of miracles. In the last 2 weeks we've been able to pick up 6 new progressing investigators which is really great! 2 of them are set of baptism coming up in January so it should be a pretty good month :)

Hope you have a Happy Christmas!!

Talk to you in a few days!


Love, Elder Brown

Transfer to Eagle River

Hello Hello team! 

Well what do you know transfer calls have came and gone and everything happened just like I was afraid it would... President Robinson called and told me that I'm being transferred down to Eagle River to train a new missionary so I'm having another kid! I was so bummed when I got the news but it's going to be alright! Fairbanks 3rd ward has by far been my favorite area and like I said before I could have stayed here the rest of my mission. It's the place! This week has been awesome! So we had a lesson with our new investigator Alice on Sunday. She was taught by missionaries before in California and she wanted to badly to be baptized last Sunday on the 6th of December but we had to tell her that that wouldn't be able to happen because we still had about 12 discussions that we need to have before she's baptized. I've never met anyone who wants to be baptized so bad so we put her on date for the 23rd of December.
  
The good news is that I might be able to train either the new Elder Brown coming out or else Sister Wrights nephew so that would be pretty cool! 

So I haven't received any updates on Liz and her driving so I'm going to assume that you're all dead because she crashed and killed you. But I got the pictures! The good news is that I didn't see any snow in the pictures and so hopefully that'll help her get adjusted a little bit before then...

Anyway I need to go and get things all packed up for tomorrow. We fly out in the morning at 6 to Anchorage and then have transfer meeting at 1 so it'll be a party! Maybe next week you'll dig down deep and find some love in your heart to email this poor forgotten boy freezing his buns off in the interior of Alaska ;) But I still love you anyway!


-Elder Brown

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving

HAPPY LATE THANKSGIVING!!! Looks like you guys had a pretty good one! My thanksgiving was pretty A- ok... Holiday's on the mission are pretty brutal because you pretty much have to go around and beg people to let you in haha! So for most of the day we just stopped by everyones house and told them that we're thankful for them. Just wait next Thanksgiving Ping Pong tournament you all better watch out! There's a ping pong table at the institute up her so i've been workin on my skills :) I can't believe the day has finally come... Liz is officially almost 16! Make sure you don't let her drive around any of her friends because we all know that's pretty hazardous. 

This week has been so great! I have no clue what Elder Jolley and I have been doing but we just keep on having Investigator after Investigator come out of no where! But hey I guess that that's nothing to complain about. Tuesday night we went to have dinner and Brother Wood's house. He was just barely released this summer as mission president in South Africa. We were having dinner and his daughter in law Alice who's from Russia came up to us and asked if we could teach her the missionary discussions because she wants to be baptized. We were pretty shocked but of course we told her that we could probably work something out haha. That night we drove down to Delta Junction for exchanges with the Elders down there which as always what a blast. The whole drive down was a white out with a couple of inches of snow on the road so it was pretty fun but a little sketch mcgetch. One of the members in our ward (My man Doctor Brother Buma) has MS really bad and is confined to a wheelchair. On Friday we went over to his house and taught his assistant Jessica the first lesson. It went really really well so we're excited to see what happens. Last night we had a lesson with Alice and her husband Johnny. Haha oh man she sat us down and made us plan out all of our lessons so that she could know how soon she could be baptized. She's great! The Church came out with their big He is the Gift initiative this week and It's going to help so much! We have 250 pass along cards that we have to give out before Christmas so It'll be fun :) In your Ensign this month you're going to get 9 pass a long cards all to your self so I triple dog dare you to hand all of them out! It's kind of crazy when I think of myself back home I never even thought about doing missionary work and sharing the gospel so I'm so excited to start when I get back!

Transfers are coming this week... Thing are starting to go so great that i'm pretty sure that I'm going to cry if I leave. In the next 2 transfers there 30 new missionaries coming in so I think I'm probably going to leave and train. Pray that I stay!

Love you guys!


- Elder Brown

Monday, November 24, 2014

Answers to Prayer

Hey Hey Mommay! 

Ok who's ready for a crazy story?? This has probably so far been the coolest answer to a prayer that any I've been teaching has received! So we were at Dawn and Courtney's house (our recent converts from a month ago) and we were teaching them the new member lessons. This time we were teaching the Restoration and using the pamphlets that we sometimes use for lessons. Aubrey (Dawns Daughter who's already a member) and her non-member husband Nick were also sitting in on the lesson. At the end of the lesson we challenged Nick to pray and ask Heavenly Father if Joseph Smith was a prophet.

 Turns out that as we were saying the closing prayer he was praying in his mind and asking if it was true. Well we left and Nick and Aubrey went down to the transfer station to go and drop off their trash. As he was throwing away his trash he felt really prompted to go and look under this pavilion where people throw random things for people to take home. As he was going through different things he was going through a box and and found a Book of Mormon with a Restoration pamphlet inside of it! To make things even better, the Book of Mormon had a chapter with the page turned down and it was 3rd Nephi Chapter 1 which talks about signs and miracles... So crazy! We're planning on committing him to baptism this next week. 

Anyways things are going great up the the AK.

Have a good week!

-Elder Brown


Monday, November 17, 2014

Quick Little Up-date

Hey Hi Hello family!

Well to start off I can't lie and tell you that I saw the polar bear because I'm supposed to be on my best behavior and all of that great stuff! But! We have two Elders up in Barrow which is the northern most missionaries in the whole world who saw the polar bear and took a picture of it. Apparently the whole town has a polar bear watch patrol to warm the people where a bear is around because they've had problems in the past with polar bears killing all of their dogs along with some people. Pretty crazy! If I stay here another transfer I'm really hoping that we'll be able to fly up and go on exchanges with them :) I'm so jealous you got to go to the Draper temple! That's the temple that's on the top of my bucket list right now. I hear the murals throughout the temple are amazing! Even though there's a temple in Anchorage I'm never going to take for granted living so close to so many. I'm pretty pumped to come home to an all new remodeled upstairs! That stinks pretty bad that you have to go to the laundry mat for all of your laundry though... that was always the worst!

This week has been total chaos between preparing for Zone Conference and figuring out all of the logistics for missionaries coming to and fro and everything like that. This week is going to be the first full week of proselyting that I've had in almost 2 months so I'm so excited! Quick little update on the people we tracted into... Elder Jolley and I went over again this week to their house and right when she opened up the door I saw the Book of Mormon laying on the bottom step of her stairs and immediately knew what was happening. She then went on to tell us that she appreciated what we do but that she had done all of the "research" that she needed to on the internet and by talking to people at her church. She told us that she never saw this going everywhere and wanted to give back the Book of Mormon. My companion and I testified about how we knew this was true and how much it really would help her in her life and then pretty much begged her to just give us 20 minutes of her time. We finally settled on 10 minutes and then an hour and a half later after teaching the Restoration and answering a whole lot of questions we left! No one can say that the church isn't true without reading the Book of Mormon and anyone who's read it can only testify that it's true. We'll see what ends up happening with them! Elder McCusker came back up to Fairbanks this week and we were able to go on exchanges together which was awesome! Haha oh man he's so in love with Kate... he wrote her a letter about 12 weeks ago and then the letter he sent her finally got to him so he was more that stoked. He's dead set that he's going to marry her and that we're going to be in-laws so I guess we'll have to see how well that works out.

Love you guys!


-Elder Brown

Monday, November 10, 2014

Expect Miracles

Hello Family,

I read the article on the Utah game... Poor guy! That's a pretty big bummer. Looks like things would have turned out a whole lot differently if it wasn't for that one mistake! The good thing is that it looks like that Utes are rising up again and getting pretty good so hopefully by next year when I get home they'll be doing great! By the sounds of it it seems like Ben's just a little stud!  I always knew he was going to be an awesome basketball player. I used to tell Dad that Ben was going to be better than me at sports when he got older. haha!

Oh man that Lizzy Brown girl... we'll I can't say that I'm not too surprised that she's not the greatest driver in the world. She's awesome though. :) You might want to go to the junk yard and see what clunker you can find her for your pocketbooks sake! That's so weird Ashton's already back... I swear she just barely left before Kate. You know what that means.... 

Well to answer a couple of your questions... Elder Jolley and I aren't in North Pole but we're pretty close! After only being with him for about 2 weeks now I can say that he gets a whole lot of Jolley puns thrown at him. He's great though! Do I ever run out of people to teach?? Haha to be honest that's something that I'm always thinking about.  It's a good problem to have though. What always amazes me is how no matter what as long as I'm being a good boy, working hard and doing what I'm supposed to the Lord never ceases to bless us with people to teach. For example: This past week we've been studying a lot on miracles and trying to recognize the everyday miracles that we have in our work. I started a miracle journal that I write in every night and so far it's been pretty cool! Last Monday night went to contact a potential investigator family and it ended up not turning out so well. It was a little discouraging, so I decided that we should go and contact all of our potential investigators we had that night so we could just get turned down by all of then and get it over with. Walking up to the next door I recognized my attitude and turned to Elder Jolley and said "Elder Jolley we're about to see a miracle" We walked up and knocked on the door and they immediately let us and and we were able to talk with them for about a half hour and set up a return appointment for tomorrow to come back and teach them the Restoration! 

One more little miracle from this week. So last Sunday we had been fasting for help turning our potentials into investigators. We were able to pick up Josh and Ashley (the ones we're teaching tomorrow) and then we had been trying to contact this PM family for about 3 months so that we could start teaching their kids and the father then out of the blue the mom called our WML and told him that she wanted us to come over this Saturday so we could start teaching their kids and baptize them! 

Ether 12: 12

  • Book of Mormon
12For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith.
Expect Miracles!

As for Zone Conference President Robinson's flying up this weekend and we're going to have it on Friday so it should be a pretty good week! Well that's what's going on in my neck of the woods so I hope everything's going great down in the Lower 48!


-Elder Brown

Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween

Hey guys!!
 
Looks like everyone had a pretty great Halloween! Oh gosh mom when I saw everything that you made Halloween night it started to make my mouth water! That chicken noodle soup and scones looked pretty darn good! I loved Mase and Lizzy's costumes! Haha that's so funny that he was jumping on the tramp with his cape. But I've got to ask... is Ben too cool to dress up now that his a big old 6th grader? I looked like he wasn't even wearing anything! I'm glad you're hikes are still going good but I can't believe that you went up the trail above the temple... Did you see a ton of rattlesnakes? I always hated that one because everytime I would go I 'd see two or three of those dang things. I found out yesterday at church that Utah lost... bummer. I made a bet with one of the members that Utah would beat USC and if they did then he had to wear my Utah tie to church the next week and if they won then I'd take a hit and wear his BYU tie for the day. He wasn't very happy
 
Well this year's Halloween was a little bit of a bummer. I didn't have the whole church to run around and play in like I did last year in Bethel so there really wasn't too much to do. We had to be in by 9 so we borrowed Ephriams Rescue from a member made some hot chocolate and then fell asleep watching it so it wasn't too bad! But I really missed the scones... haha!

I picked up Elder Jolley (he really gets teased around this time of year) my new comp at the airport on Wednesday and then I was finally able to end the couch hoping run and go home to our apartment. He's a really great guy and we get along really well. So far on my mission I've been blessed with some pretty awesome companions that I always get along with. Since the last two transfer's we pretty much baptized all of our investigators. We've really been focusing on building our investigator pools back up and have a lot of miracles in the making! Zone meeting and Zone conference are coming up real quick so we've been pretty busy running around and getting all of the trainings good to go. Besides that nothing really to great or new has been happening up here!
 
Have a great week!
 
-Elder Brown
 

P.s. thanks a bunch for the package and especially for all of the ties! I loved them!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Go Utes

Hello!

I'm so stoked that the Utes are doing so well! Saturday we had dinner with a family that just moved up from Provo. Even though they're die hard Zoobies I still sweet talked them into giving me the play by play of the Utah USC game. Ahhh I hope they can keep it up! That's pretty cool that Kate gets to travel to all of the different Islands! That would be pretty fun!

Well all this week I've been hopping from couch to couch in all of the areas in Fairbanks. Last Tuesday we went and dropped Elder McCusker off at the airport and ever since I've just been bouncing around from area to area. It's been pretty fun! Most of the time I've stayed with Elder Nielson (my companion from Bethel) We're going to be pretty tight when I get back home. He leaves in 6 weeks...
Transfer calls came this Friday and I'm staying in 3rd ward as the Zone Leader and then Elder Jolley from Tremonton is going to come up with me. He seems like a pretty good guy so I'm pretty excited!

This weekend was Stake Conference in our stake and it was so good! Our Stake President is such an amazing man and has helped me out a whole lot.  One thing he said that I've been thinking a whole lot about lately. He said: If there's ever a time we think we need to be right instead of being kind, repent. I think a lot of time we struggle so badly with the drive to be right instead of being kind.  Trying to be right. Anyone can try and prove that they're right but it takes a true disciple of Christ to say "You're right, I'm sorry" even when you know you're right.

I was able to catch up to Sister Gridley from Dad's ward when he was here.  It was really cool to talk with her a lot about him and reminisce a little.  I miss that guy!

Love you guys!


-Elder Brown
Sister Gridley

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Wuff Slayers

Hey Family!

 I don't really have too much time to email so I have to keep this pretty quick! Sounds like you guys have had quite the week! It's pretty weird hearing about all of vacation days off that the kids have from school but it sounds like you guys are making pretty good use of it! Ok where is Donut falls? That hike looked so cool! You're going to have to take me there when I get back. 

This week has gone by pretty quick. This week was Courtney's Baptism which was so awesome! All of the Young Women in the ward did something at the baptism so it made it really special for her. Earlier in the week we made the voyage down to Delta Junction to go on exchanges for the day with the Elder down there. The drive down was pretty sketch mcgetch because the roads were just a sheet of ice. It was pitch black the whole drive down with the Northern Lights dancing off in the distance and we just about hit a wolf that was running along side the highway. Needless to say Alaska is a pretty cool place!

We got our transfer calls about a week and a half early and found out that we're getting yanked apart. Elder McCusker's going down to Anchorage again and I'm staying up in the Banks. It's been pretty fun serving with him and you'll get to meet him when I get back because he'll be around the house a whole lot while he goes to school in Utah. Later tomorrow he's flying down to Anchorage by himself and then for this whole next week I'm going to be playing nomad and couch hopping from area to area until I find out who my new companion will be this Saturday. The joys of being companionless I guess! I'm pretty excited to be staying in the same area because there are so many great things going on. I wouldn't mind it if I just stayed her for the rest of my mission. But next transfer I'm really hoping I get to train sister Wrights Nephew that's coming out. Or else there's another Elder Brown coming out so maybe I'll get to train him! If I do I'm making sure that we're both wearing the same outfit ever single day haha! 

Sorry this was so short but I promise I'll be better next week!

Love you guys!


-Elder Brown

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Meet The Mormons

Hey Guys! 

Well week after week it seems like the Brown family back home is always up to something interesting! I'm pretty happy about it because it makes emails always that much better! That's so cool that Brother Wolley mentioned his brother and I in his testimony. His brother really is such a great guy and I think it's just crazy that I ended up in the same exact ward as him! Hopefully we can make a difference. As for the cookies.... Elder McCusker and I have developed the unstoppable approach for people especially Part-member families that won't let you in. We call it "Warm 'em before you Warn 'Em" No matter what if you're really happy and nice and show up on someones doorstep with a plate full of savory home warmed (Toll house) chocolate chip cookies there's no way they can turn you away! Works like a charm :) Sometimes you need to get pretty creative to make things work.

Aww man I love the Adams Canyon hike! Michael McCann would go on that one a whole lot before we left and have some pretty good memories up there. I think you need to talk to Bishop Erying and talk to him about being the assistant Scout Master or at least the Rep. over the mountaineering merit badge after all of these ventures in the mountains! I'm kidding of course haha. I loved the story of the temple with Jan Freeman greeting you at the other side. It gives me a whole lot of comfort knowing that Dad's going to be waiting there doing the exact same thing when we pass on to the next life. Ahh I love the temple!

This week has probably been the craziest week on my mission by far! I'm sure I can count on one hand how many hours we got to proselyte in our area. We got a email from our vehicle coordinator last P-Day telling us that we had to get all 13 of our cars into the shop with their winter tires ready to get put on. Well we thought that it would be pretty easy except with the snow storm that hit last week EVERY SINGLE PERSON in Fairbanks was trying to do the exact same thing! We spent hours going around from auto shop to auto shop trying to set up appointments but with the mad rush of customers trying to get their tires changed no one was taking appointments and was just changing tires of a first come first serve basis. What we ended up having to do for all of the cars was waking up really early in the morning, taking the cars to the shop a few hours before they opened and then standing in line in the cold for a few hours. The first day it was pretty fun because it just seemed like Black Friday on the mission as there ended up being about 40 people behind us in line doing the same thing. Well that's enough about that but it was pretty brutal. Lots of early mornings and late nights but the good thing is it's done :)

This weekend President Robinson and the assistants came up on Friday to do interviews and then for Zone Conference on Saturday. I got to go on exchanges with Elder Nelson (from MPJH, the one I served with in Bethel) one last time before he goes home in a few weeks. On Saturday for Zone Conference the whole Zone got together and watched Meet the Mormons!! I loved it! Hopefully you've gone and seen it by now, if not then you're missing out! When President Robinson first came out he told us that we were going to be able to go to the theaters to watch it, so that was a bummer but at least we got to see it! I really think with all of the negative things going around about the church that it will really help out a whole lot!

Dawn got confirmed yesterday which was really awesome! Her daughter Courtney's getting baptized this weekend so that will be great! We brought our squirrel to the Ward Harvest Dinner and it was a big hit! We won the award for the most unique and generous contribution haha
.
Ok. If you want a really good laugh you need to watch this last Sunday's sacrament meeting up through Brother Wappetts (The guy conducting's) talk. I think the website is Fairbanksstake.orgor something like that! I've never laughed so hard in a sacrament meeting in my life. I love that guy! If it's possible could you save it onto your computer so that I can have it when I get home? That would be great! 

Love ya a whole lot!

-Elder Brown

Pic 1 - People give us the most random things... One of our investigators called us and asked if we wanted a few moose bones to give to dogs. We told him we would take them so we drove to his house and backed up to his garage and pulled the entire moose carcass into the bed of our truck... Well after trying to pawn it off to someone we ended up hauling it to the dump. Go figure. 

My mad haircutting skills. Luckily I have a loving companion who said something before I walked out the door with this thing.

Monday, October 6, 2014

General Conference Weekend

Oh man... I can't believe you have Kate's travel itinerary to come home! That's so weird! It's crazy to see all of the people whose farewells I went to come home. I know it's still forever away, and I don't think of it a whole lot, but I'm slowly climbing up the totem pole. Sounds like you've had a great week though! I'm glad Mason's getting easier and easier to handle but I thought he's supposed to be in his terrible two's so it's supposed to be the other way around! But I'm sure you don't really mind. Haha those pictures of him at the treehouse were pretty funny! You could tell by the look on his face that he didn't really like being pulled away from those trains.

I don't know what's up with you and your hikes lately... at least you always bring someone with you whenever you get lost! I'm pretty impressed with your tennis skills mom! Looks like we're going to have to go to Mueller Park this summer and you're going to have to show off your skills. Holy cow you're going to Thailand next summer?? Who even thought of that one? That's going to be so awesome you guys are going to have a blast! I was pretty taken aback by that one I never really thought that you'd even think of going over seas international for a family vacation. But that's so cool! You'll have to send me some pictures of the resort we're going to be staying at. 

Well this week has zoomed by so quickly! I swear that the longer you're out on your mission the fast and faster the weeks seem to go by. Between General Conference, going on exchanges, and preparing Dawn for her baptism things have been pretty jam packed. So when we put Dawn on date to be baptized we didn't really realize that it was going to be General Conference weekend. She actually was the one that brought it up! But with how well she had been doing we really didn't want to have to move her date back a week. So we ended up shooting the gap in between the afternoon session and priesthood session of General Conference! The baptism ended up going really well and was such a cool experience! She's really been through the ringer throughout her life but it's been so amazing to see the transformation that she's been able to make in just the last few months that I've been able to be with her. It really just goes to show that no matter how dismal the circumstances may seem, no matter how deep the despair, the Atonement allows us to change this day our destiny and what we have the potential to become. 

I'm so grateful for General Conference! Even though my bottom is so sore from sitting in the uncomfortable pews for 10 hours. There was so much that stuck out to me this conference. One of the things that really hit home with me is how my entire life all I've been doing is living below my potential. Heavenly Father has created each of us differently so that we can excel in our own ways. He doesn't want us to be the average Joe or mediocre. Whenever we feel that way we're living below our birthright. Each one of us has been given the power to become whatever we want to become and to be the best at it. All growing up I never even scraped the surface of what I can be. What was running through my mind a whole lot during conference was when I was talking to you a few years ago about how on your Honey Moon with dad how you could hardly even get him to do anything because all he wanted to do was to read! I loved the story someone shared about the young mother who was a maid who made all of her kids stop watching T.V. and read books. And how their lives and situation was completely changed because of that mother. I just feel so much more motivated to learn! There's so many things I don't know. In the Doctrine and Covenants it talks about how the "Glory of God is intelligence". I'm so excited for the chance that I have to be here and to learn and to grow and I'm even more excited to get home and to put to use all of the things I've learned on my mission!

Hope that everything is just fine and dandy!

Love you guys! 

P.s. Thanks so much for the package! You're the greatest!


-Elder Brown


Squirrel Hunting on P-Day

Monday, September 29, 2014

Norther Lights

Hi Family!
 
Well another week is gone, and in just a few more days I'll officially be able to count how many months I have left on my two hands! I was just sitting next to Elder Nielson who was bugging me because he can count how many weeks he has on both his hands. So i guess I'm not that close to coming home but I'm getting there! It's so crazy thinking about how Kate only has 3 months left. You're going to have to start planning her Homecoming party pretty soon! I'm a little bummed that I'm not going to be there when she gets back, just because she's going to be so weird! Hopefully I'm not like that, I guess we'll see!

So I guess there was a pretty decent sized earthquake just north of Anchorage this week. All of the missionaries were talking about how huge it was, but to be honest I didn't even feel a thing! There's been quite a few since I've been out but I haven't even felt one yet so I guess there just needs to be a REAALY big one so i can feel it! Apparantly the people in Anchorage felt it really good and there were a bunch of things falling off of buildings and stores.

So I have to say I feel pretty bad.  It turns out that the apartment that we moved the sisters into last transfer had bed bugs... BAD! The four sisters that lived there had pretty bad welts from the bugs sucking their blood in the night. It was pretty nasty! So this week we had to get a few companionships from the zone and move all of their stuff out of their apartment. Unfortunately a lot of their stuff had to get thrown away. Most of their personal belongings were sent down to Anchorage to this place that will kill off all of the bugs. We all wore shower caps on our heads and over our shoes so I'm really hoping that we don't get them in our apartment too!

Since Dawn's baptism is coming up this Saturday we spent a lot of time this week working with her! She's doing so great! Last week she was smoking 12 cigarettes a day and as of last Friday she's completely cigarette free and not even using a patch! Is so awesome to see how the Lord really does provide a way for us to keep His commandments if we have a sincere heart and real intent. With all of the sessions of General conference and her baptism it's going to be a pretty busy weekend so we're going to have to try and squeeze her baptism inbetween sessions.

Well some other good news is that hunting season is finally over!! You wouldn't think that it would really have that big of an impact on the work but it's crazy how many people are gone. Literally almost all of Alaska is gone in September. This week the Northen Lights were out so good! Last winter it was really warm and I wasn't able to see them a whole lot but they're SO COOL!!! I haven't had my camera with me when they've been really good so hopefully I'll be able to get some pics this week and send them back to ya! 

Hope that everything's going awesome! I love you guys!!
-Elder Brown

 
Trying to scare his mother.  Don't worry I don't scare easily!


Monday, September 22, 2014

Oh Man It's Getting Cold

Oh man the leaves are gone, it's gettin darker and darker and it's starting to get pretty darn cold! It's just about time to whip out the hat and gloves and I'm not too happy about it... But by the looks of the pictures you've sent me and all of the hikes you've been going on lately you're still living the dream! It's kinda scary that Lizzy can start dating in just a few months! I'm pretty bummed that I'm not going to be there when her first date comes to the door to pick her up. I need revenge for all of those time I had to get the talk from all of those scary intimidating dad's before I could take their daughter out. I had it all planned out what I was going to do but I guess it'll have to wait until I get back :) 

Well what can I say this week was just a dandy one. We didn't really have a whole lot of time to work in our area because we were so busy doing other things but it was pretty fun! Wednesday afternoon we flew down to Anchorage for a meeting with Elder Evans for MLC. There was only a few of us in the meeting so it was so awesome to be in such a small meeting with a General Authority. After the meeting we went to bed and then woke up bright and early to meet Elder Evans and his wife and President and Sister Robinson to fly back up to Fairbanks with them. Elder McCusker drew the short straw and lost the bet so he had to drive when Elder Evans was up here! It's pretty intimidating when you have a General Authority right next to you so needless to say we drove like grandmas to the Stake Center but made it safe and sound and without getting rebuked on our chauffeur skills! The meeting was so awesome and we talked about so many cool things that are going to help us out so much in our missionary work! He told us that within the next couple of months we're going to be getting iPads so that's a pretty big bummer. I was hoping that our mission would never get them while I was out here just because I don't want to have to get back on Facebook... So I guess we'll see how it goes.

At the end of the meeting something pretty cool happened. We were talking about different and more effective ways to find people to teach other than tracting and he gave us an apostolic promise that if we tried this then as a result of this meeting people who would have otherwise never heard or accepted the gospel will be baptized as well as their posterity for generations to come. Then he gave Elder McCusker and I a challenge that for the rest of our appts for the day we had to try this and then report back to President Robinson how it worked. Well we did it and as a result we found someone who told us that she wants to become a Mormon and be baptized as well as a bunch of other really promising investigators! Things lately have just been on fire and we've been finding people left and right! Apostolic promises are pretty cool :)
 
Well that's pretty much how this week went! Dawn finally got her patches to help quit smoking and is still planning on the 4th so we're real excited for her!

Hope all is going just great! You guys are awesome!
Love,

-Elder Brown

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fall?

Hi mom!

Hopefully you didn't think that I forgot to email you this week, you know I'd never do that. ;) Ooooooo yess please send me up some salsa! I'm not going to lie I definitely don't miss the annual salsa making day, but I love eating it! Thanks for sending all of the pictures!

This past week was Alaska's Fall. It literally lasts less than a week. Last Tuesday the tree turned colors so it had been so pretty and then today we looked out the window and what did we see? No leaves. Just goes to show that the old saying that Alaska only has two seasons (Winter and construction) is pretty true.
 
These past four days or so have been absolutely crazy! We got our transfer calls this last week and it turns out that Elder McCusker and I are staying where we are so we're pretty happy about that! Oh man there's so many cool stories to tell you so I don't really know where to start. 

I guess I can talk about Rick our blind investigator! So Rick has been meeting with missionaries for around 5 years, but recently has been really thinking about joining the church. This last fast Sunday we were both fasting for Rick and what we needed to do with him because he hadn't really been progressing lately. We went over during the week and had dinner with them one night. After dinner he completely randomly asks us "How long would it take for me to be ready to be baptized?" Both of us were pretty taken back, but told him that we would be able to prepare him in a few weeks. He went on to tell us that the night before he had a dream that he had this great desire to be baptized but was really stressed out because both of us were getting transferred out and weren't able to baptize him. Ever since he had this dream things have completely changed and he's been doing so great! He's just convinced that drinking 2 glasses of wine a night is good for his vision so we just need to get him over that and he should be good to go!
 
To answer your question about Dawn, she got the answer to her prayer this week and so she's planning on the 4th of October to be baptized! Her daughter Courtney said that its "so uncool" to be baptized on the same day as her mom so she's shooting for the 25th of next month. Hopefully we can move it up a little bit.
 
So! Healy, (one of the areas in our zone) Is getting shut down this transfer except they had a baptism planned for this coming week. They had to push the date up a few days so that it could happen before the Elders there were transferred out. So on Sunday Elder McCusker, Elder Wang, and drove down to interview her. Their investigator's name is Shu Shu and she's from China. She speaks pretty good English but doesn't really know Gospel terms very well, so we brought Elder Wang with us to translate. I was able to interview her and it's so amazing how during the interviews the Spirit really tells you whether or not they're ready. She passed and so Elder Wang and I drove back yesterday so that he could baptize her and translate. It was a pretty cool experience! But needless to say after 9 hours of driving in 2 days I'm pretty sick of it.

This week Elder Call (head of the missionary department) is coming to our mission and so we've been really busy putting together a Zone Conference. When he get's up here we get escort him around so that should be pretty cool! On Wednesday evening we're flying down to Anchorage to go to a meeting with him and then the next morning we're flying up with him and then having Zone Conference so it should be a pretty busy week! 

Love you guys! 

-Elder Brown

Monday, September 8, 2014

Bee Hives and Chasing Pigs

Goooooooddd Morning! 

Man I swear you guys are always doing something fun! Going to the Zoo, Utah football games, going to the temple and all your fun hikes! I'm jealous! Now that I look back I miss doing all of the little things with the family! In high school you get so caught up with hanging out with friends and thinking that your cool that you don't really pay attention to all of the small and simple things that really matter and you end up missing a whole lot! But I'm pretty glad you're taking tennis! When I get back I'm going to sit down and watch your old lady lessons so I can get a good laugh :) But hey since you're a pro, now I'll have a buddy to play tennis with! Thank you so much for sending me the Utah schedule!! That helps a whole lot so that now when members take us out to eat I'll know what time we need to go haha! 

I swear it was just yesterday that I was emailing you so this week has really flown by. For the first two days of the week we drove down to Delta Junction and went on exchanges with the Elders down there. It's really in the middle of no where so we did a lot of service. In the morning we went and helped some lady clean out the honey from her bee hive (we didn't have those white astronaut suits so it was a little scary with 20,000 bees flying around) which was an adventure! After that we went over to a pig farm and chased pigs and grabbed them and put them in different pens which was pretty fun! 
After we had all our fun in Delta we went back to our area and things are still going pretty good! We've been seeing so many miracles lately and the work's going great! I'm not sure if I've told you about Dawn and her daughters but if I haven't I will again anyways because they're the bees knees. We've been teaching Dawn and her daughters Aubree and courtney for about a month now. They finally made it to church last week and are absolutely loving it! Aubree was baptized when she was 8 but has been inactive her whole life but the other two both aren't members. We taught them about the temple this week and they all are in love with it. Our ward has a temple trip to Anchorage this next week and Aubree's going to go try to go on it. She's so excited! This week we committed Dawn and Courtney for baptism on the 4th of October so next transfer's looking really good! 
Transfer calls are coming this saturday so we'll see what happens... I'm really hoping that everything stays the same but you never know.

That story with Kate meeting sister Dukes in Vanuatu is pretty sweet! But I reminds me that I have to start getting ready for college pretty soon...
But we'll talk about that in a few more weeks!

Hope everything's going good!

Keep on keepin on :)


-Elder Brown

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Definitely Not the MoTab

Well Hello Hello :) 

Ok calm down mother I didn't intentionally forget to email you again! Yesterday was Labor Day so all of the libraries were closed so we couldn't really email!  Sounds like you had a pretty good weekend! I'm so jealous you got to go to the Utah game! Could you pretty please send me their schedule????

Things are still going really great in the Fairbanks 3rd Ward and I'm loving every second of it! This last Saturday Scott was baptized and it was probably the best baptism I've seen yet on my mission! He asked me to perform the ordinance so it was really cool to be able to do that for my first time. Out of his entire family Scott's the only one who's a member now but all of his family and extended family living in Fairbanks came to the baptism to support him. You could feel the spirit really strong at the baptism and after his family came up to us and told us that they started shaking and crying when he was baptized and asked us what that was. We told them that what they were feeling was the Holy Ghost and that it's something we feel when we know something is true. Needless to say we picked up the rest of his family as investigators so we're really excited for that! It's amazing to see how just the decision of a 14 year old boy can bring an entire family into the gospel. 

Haha oh man... yep after about a month of trying Sister Pearce finally persuaded us to sing in Sacrament meeting. I was pretty nervous because I've never done anything like that before but I think it went O.K. It's kinda cool how our ward broadcasts all of its meetings online so people in the Villages can see it so I'm glad you guys got to watch! Definitely not MoTab quality but a lady came up to us after and told us that when we were done singing her daughter looked over at her and said "Mommy why am I crying?" Her mom told us that that was the first time that she's really felt the Spirit so she asked for the song so that her daughter can remember the first time she's felt the Spirit. Kinda cool! 


Tonight we're going to drive 100 miles down to Delta Junction to go on exchanges with the Elders there so that should be pretty fun! Next transfer they're putting Elders back in Barrow (the northernmost missionaries in the world) and they'll be in our Zone so we're trying to talk President Robinson into letting us fly up there to go on exchanges with them too! Hopefully it'll happen so we'll have to see!
For those cold and lonely days when you need to hold someones hand...i named her, Amasepha
Scott's baptism.

Monday, August 25, 2014

D-Day

Thank you so much for decorating my room and throwing all the candy on my bed! I'm a little confused though... it's not my half birthday till next month and I'm not turning 12 so I wasn't really sure what that picture you sent me was of. I sure hope that someone hasn't moved in and taken over my bedroom! I'm sure that's not the case but if it is there's going to be a battle when I get back.;) I can't believe that Marissa Woodbury's already home... gosh I swear it'll be only a few more emails then Kate will be home! So thanks for all of the pictures you sent me of Ben's party! They were killin me! This is pretty weird but honestly the thing that I miss most is just being able to jump in water... ahhh! But thats alright I'm still having fun out here :) Benny boy looks like a little stud! I'm so glad that Grandpa Wayner was able to give him the priesthood. 

This week things have been just pretty darn crazy. President Robinson and his wife came up this weekend to interview all of the missionaries and so that we could have a Stake missionary Correlation Meeting with President Duval the Stake President up here. Most of the week before they arrived we were running around trying to set up their interview schedule and prepare everything and then still trying to meet with all of the people to keep our area up and running! Interviews with President Robinson and then the stake meeting went really good! 

This Saturday Isaac was baptized which was such a cool experience! He's such a great kid. Most of his family's less active and so we're really hoping that he'll be able to lead them back to church! Elder McCusker baptized him and then I confirmed him yesterday in sacrament meeting. 

The work in 3rd ward is so good! If I could stay here the rest of my mission I would be a pretty happy camper. All of the members of the ward are so great! This next Saturday Scott, one of our other investigators is getting baptized so things are moving along! Last night we had a really cool experience. We went over to give our Ward Mission Leader Bro. Marshall a blessing and we ended up getting there right when Tim (a guy Bro Marshall's been trying to share the gospel with) and his wife got there. Tim went to a Baptist school in Florida where he took a huge class they teach pretty much on proving the Book of Mormon wrong. One day while he was in class he was reading in the Bible the scripture that says "By their fruits ye shall know them" He spent a lot of time thinking about the fruits of the baptist church and the fruits of the Mormons. The spirit told him what he needed to do so his quit school and came up to Alaska where he met Brother Marshall. We had an awesome lesson with them last night where the spirit hit them like a train. Tim and his wife are so primed and ready! 

The 25ths of Augusts are are always pretty tough. Enough said. :) When I get home I'm just gonna go to the temple every time. I always feel so close and like he's sitting next to me there. But Luckily every D-Day on my mission I've just been too busy to even think about things so that's been such a blessing! Definitely some divine intervention there. :) 

Well Elder McCukser and I are going to go Gold panning and get rich, so in a few days I'll send ya some gold nuggets so you can go buy yourself somethin nice. 

Love ya guys!


Sunday, August 17, 2014

That Weekly Letter

Mason turned two??! It's going to be so weird to come home and hear him talking... I still remember the night when Meg went into labor and I sat in the waiting room for 6 hours. Yep that's never happening again. Next time I'm just waiting at home. That seemed like a pretty sweet birthday party though! Mase looked like he was having a blast and of course I loved his backpack! Ben and Liz are you excited for school?? Well too bad cause you've only got a week left of summer so you better live it up! 

Gosh this week has zoomed by so fast! I can't believe that it's already time to email again! There's so much that's been happening lately and I've never been happier in my life! Like I said in my last email last Monday we drove down to Anchorage for transfer meeting and then stayed there for a few nights until MLC on Wednesday. Our meetings ended up taking most of the day so we weren't able to hit the road until pretty late so we ended up driving 4 hours up to Healy and then sleeping there for the night. The next morning we had to wake up pretty early so that we could make it to Fairbanks to go house hunting for 2 sets of sister missionaries. The lease on their apartment is ended really soon so we had to go and tour a bunch of other apartments and find one that would work! After a few hours we finally found one so now we have to have it all furnished for them by the end of the week... fun stuff. 

On the first Friday of every transfer we have something called Zone Meeting where all of the missionaries in the Zone come together and Elder McCusker and I got to put together a 3 hour meeting/training. The theme that we decided on doing was "Come to the Edge" We talked about the stories of Enos, Alma the younger, etc. and how each of them came to a point in their lives where they were standing on the edge and had to jump. We compared it to missionary life by talking about how just like Alma and Enos each of us has things holding us back from reaching our full potential as a servant of the Lord (disobedience, fear, lack of caring) and how we wanted this to be the point in their missions where they make the jump and put all of the things holding them back, behind them. As in the cases of Enos and Alma it always takes sacrifice but when we make the jump the Lord will never allow us to fall. 
We did a really cool activity where we set up a course of tables in the gym that seemed to get gradually higher and higher  up off of the ground until it reached the stage. We had all of the missionaries wear blindfolds then they had someone lead them along the course until they made it to the top. At the top, thinking that they were about 5 feet in the air we made them jump off when the stage was only 1 or 2 inches below them. Oh man I wish I had recorded it! Everyone at the top was freaking out and some of the sisters started to cry haha! We were mean and made them jump anyways :) 
The work in the 3rd ward is awesome! We have more investigators than I've ever have had and after this week we have 3 people on date to be baptized by the end of the month! 

Well sorry for the long email but I hope you have a great week!


-Elder Brown

Monday, August 4, 2014

Transfers

Hey Family!!

Man mom I can't believe how much you guys are traveling around this summer... I swear you go on a new vacation every single week! San Francisco looked like it was a lot of fun though.  Thanks for sending all of the pics!

This weekend we got our transfer calls! Since I had only been in the area for 1 transfer and Elder Perkins had been there for 3, I was pretty sure that either we both were going to stay or at least he would stay and I would leave. So I was pretty shocked when I found out that I was going to be sent over to the Fairbanks 3rd ward to serve as a Zone Leader with Elder McCusker. I was finally getting to really get used to the 1st ward and all of our contacts so it's a little bit of a bummer that I'm not going to be able to stay, but at the same time I'm really excited! Elder McCusker's an Orange County California boy that came out with the group of missionaries that I was supposed to come out with last year. Ever since transfer calls things have been a little bit crazy just full of trying to get everything all packed up, doing laundry, etc. This morning we drove the looooooong drive from Fairbanks to Anchorage so that we can go to transfer meeting tomorrow and then we're going to sleep at the mission home and go to MLC on Wednesday then drive right back up to Fairbanks and get to work!

I don't have too much time but I'll try and answer some of your questions before I have to go!

So I guess Fairbanks is supposed to be a really dry and sunny place but it has been raining almost the entire time I've been up here. June and July set records for the most rainfall in history so we've been getting a whole lot!

Right now the sun sets around 10:30 or 11 so each day its getting darker and darker. The light's not really a problem anymore so that makes things a whole lot easier.

I actually have met a lot of people that still remember Dad! Right now I'm trying to hunt down a family that he taught and baptized (the last one while he was up here). Rumor has it that they're still up here so hopefully I can find them. Fairbanks is a huge military town so people move in and out quite a bit. But this last Sunday I met the lady that Brent Carling was talking about, and we went to dinner with him before I left. She's awesome!

Got to go!
Love,
Elder Brown

Just eatin some Muk'tuk steaks (whale blubber) for dinner!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Healy

Hey Mom! 

This weekend we drove 2 hours down to a little town called Healy where some missionaries in my district are stationed and stayed with them for a few days. It's so pretty down there! Healy's only a few miles north of Denali National Park which is right where Mt. Mckinley is so that was a lot of fun! But man am I glad I'm not serving there... There's only a few hundred people there and they've already tracted out the whole place so most of the day they just walk around town and hope someone walks by that they can talk to. Rough life. But they have a few really solid investigators so that's why they keep them down there.

Scott and Evangaline (the ones with the Diner) are still doing really great! We're just really trying to get him to hire some new staff to work on Sundays so that he and his wife can take Sunday's off and come to church! That's really the only thing that's keeping them from being baptized so I really hope we can make it work! All things are possible with the Lord right? So I'm sure it'll all work out. Transfer calls are this week which is sooo weird because I feel like they were just yesterday... Man time's flying by!

Well hopefully you're still alive and that things are going good!

Love ya!


-Elder Brown

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Diner

Oh man I can't believe Reggie died out on you! I don't know what it is with him but it seems like his battery just keeps on giving out a whole lot more than it really should. Maybe it's because he's an old grandpa now. He's 20 years old this year! Haha I still remember that Homecoming Day Activity... but at least we were able to wake board and tube for most of the day before he died! Sounds like he gave out on your right at the start. Just remember that after you get a jump start you have to leave him on for quite a while so his battery can charge all up again. Just look down at the battery life gauge and don't turn it off unless it's at least half full.

Well to be honest and I don't want to sound like a Debby Downer but things up here have pretty much been the same old same old. Lets just say there's a lot of opposition up here. I loved the talk by Elder Corbridge last general conference where he talked about Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith and how the truth will always be defied.
Things have just been like a roller coaster lately. One second you think you're finally going to catch a break but then everything just crashes and burns. We've really been struggling to get things going here but that's alright because it's all going to change this week! Like I said before the Less active work has been going so great and we've been able to help re-active a lot of people which has been awesome but it'd be nice if we could get both sides of the teaching pool rolling.
Last night we finally caught a break with a couple that we're teaching. They're the nicest and most amazing people I've met but are just so busy that its just crazy. They own a diner in downtown Fairbanks where they have us over for lunch and dinner a couple times a week and feed us. Their main hold up is that they can't come to church on Sunday because they're the only ones working at the Co-op. Scott (the husband) grew up living in and LDS family but was never baptized but he already knows everything's true. I was pretty shocked when I was looking at his keychain and saw he had a container of consecrated oil on it! Anyways, last night when we were walking over to their diner they came outside to meet us and told us that they need and want to be baptized. We were both pretty shocked but so happy! We talked about the sacrifice that he would have to make of finding someone to run the diner on Sundays and he was really nervous about it. But he told us that if the Lord had gotten this far in life then he knew he would make it happen. So hopefully within the next couple of weeks we'll finish up the lessons and have them baptized! WOHOO! :)
I loved your story about going to the temple and meeting the woman there. The temple's by far my favorite place to go. No where else can you go and separate yourself from the world and find and feel that kind of heavenly peace. I've been thinking a lot lately about what I call the STP (same ten people) Every ward I've been in Alaska has those same ten people of families who do everything for the ward and truly live the law of consecration. Our stake president was talking in our ward a few weeks ago and  said something that I really loved, pertaining to the temple. He said "when I said yes, I meant it" It's amazing to see how much happier those families who give their whole selves to Gods work compared to those who only give a portion. 

Have a great week! 
Love ya!
-Elder Brown

Sunday, July 13, 2014

District Leader

Elder Brown has been called to serve as a District Leader in the Fairbanks Zone, F North Star District as of June, 24, 2014.


Monday, July 7, 2014

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!!
 
Thanks for sending all of the pics! it looks like you guys had so much fun this week! Silver Lake looks so pretty so you'll have to take me up there next year so I can come and see it! I'm glad you were finally able to take Reggie out to get some exercise this week. But of course you can't take him out without something going wrong. But hey at least it wasn't too catastrophic! So since Ben is going to be turning 12 this next August I sure hope that he's getting REALLY close to getting up on a slalom ski! Oh man I still remember what Dad would do with all of us... Some how he'd get us into the water to try and get up and then gave us two options. 1. stay in until you get up or 2. swim to shore. haha! Maybe you should try that one with Ben! Actually I haven't seen any pictures of Lizzy either and she's like 6 years overdue! Just wait till I get back we'll make sure that changes.
 
This week has gone by really quick and has been a lot of fun! Now a few weeks every transfer I get to go out into a few of the bush areas as well as a couple areas in Fairbanks and go on exchanges and try and help them out a little bit. This week we went to Delta Juntion which is an old really scattered Russian town about 150 miles out of Fairbanks so that was a lot of fun! For the 4th of July we went over to our Ward Mission Leaders daughters house and had a BBQ outside on the shore of the lake in their backyard. There were tons of people water skiing and tubing and all of that fun stuff. You're going to think I'm weird but I think that that's honestly what has been one of the hardest things for me on my mission. Not being able to go in water! Needless to say it was nothing short of torture to have to sit on the shore and watch it all haha! Last month had been the raniest June in history so all of the rivers were about to spill over the banks and flood the whole town. Then this week we got a huge heat flash and it was 93 yesterday! Since air conditioning doesn't exist in Alaska the nights have been miserable. I never thought that I'd have to deal with the heat when I was called here.
This last week we had a seminar with our new president, President Robinson. Him and his wife are so amazing. I was a little nervous coming into it but they're going to be great. So here's somethin new. I guess the church is coming out with a movie that's going to actually be playing in the theaters this Fall. Turns out that we're going to be able to take our investigators to the movies!! It was pretty funny when he announced it and all of the missionaries were going crazy haha. I never thought I'd hear a Mission President say "So here's the game plan, you're going to grab some investigators, take them to the movies, grab a big old bucket of popcorn and you're going to watch it!" I'm pretty excited it should be fun!
 
Well thats about it for around here!
 
have a good one!
 

-Elder Brown

Monday, June 30, 2014

4 Score……and 365 Days to Go!

Hey Momma!!

Holy Cow that's crazy... what're you going to do with all of the time you have now?! Meg and Quinn are gone, no baby to watch, and no more Mia Maid activities! Looks like you're going to have to find a new hobby!
That's really cool about Sidona's cousin in Anchorage. Tell her to still send me the package, because I'm sure in a few months they'll have me down in Anchorage. 

So Guess what this week is.... I've officially been out a YEAR!!! woot woot!!!! That means only 6 months till Kate comes home! I can't believe that it's already been a whole year... Looking back it seems like it's gone by so fast, but then it's been filled with a lifetimes worth of memories. What's going to be weird is to see Kate come home and then I'll still have 6 months after that! crazy stuff. 

So this past week's been a lot of fun! Monday-Wednesday I stayed in Anchorage for Leadership training and then Elder Wang from Taiwan and I started the 8 hour drive up to Fairbanks. We got a really late start so we ended up staying in Healy at the church there for the night. So the drive's supposed to be one of the prettiest in the world where you can see Mount McKinley and all these mountains and glaciers and such.  However, when we drove through it was pouring rain the entire time and all we saw was fog. I guess the trees on the side of the road were green and pretty. My new area's a little rough around the edges... but that's ok it'll get there! Last night we found a new family to teach and they are now our leading investigators. They're really amazing people so we'll see what happens. My new comp is from Kanosh Utah (Somewhere by Fillmore?) and he's a total country cowboy but we'll get along good! He's about 6'4" and 280 so I don't think anybody's going to be messing with us (or him at least haha).  The new mission President gets here in about a few hours so I guess we'll see how that goes. It was pretty sad to see President and Sister Beesley leave... I'm gonna miss them. 

I've got to say i'm a little disappointed that you haven't taken the boat out yet... But I guess I'll let it slide! 

Well that's about what's been happening in my neck of the woods but I hope you have an amazing week!

Love you guys!!


-Elder Brown

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer Solstice

Hey guys!!

Well I think it's pretty safe to assume that you had a pretty good week! Thanks for sending me all of the pictures and rubbing it in my face :) Looking through all of them brought back so many memories! Gosh that sounded like the perfect week! Beach, pool, Disneyland, Angels game, restaurants, etc. What more could you ask for?! Now that you've got all the big trips out of the way what're you gonna do for the rest of the summer? Just sit back and relax? 

Well this week we got transfer calls and it turns out that I'm headed up north to the land of Fairbanks! It's one of the wards dad served in so I'm pretty excited and hopefully I can meet some more of the people that he was able to work with. It's pretty sad having to leave Wasilla. This has by far been my best area missionary work wise so I'm going to miss it. I'm going to be serving with cowboy Elder Perkins and the work in the ward's supposed to be a little bit rough but hopefully we can change that! This coming week Sarah's 2nd mom that we're teaching and her son have been a little bit nervous because her husband's coming home this week and she wasn't really sure how he'd take it when she told him that she's getting baptized. She's really strong and decided that no matter what he says she knows that this is true and she's going to get baptized! That's one of the other hard things about leaving is next month we have 5 baptisms planned... bummer. haha! 

Well I hope you guys are recovering a little bit from your crazy week!


-Elder Brown

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Lucky Dog

Hey Momma!

Man I'm so jealous of you guys getting to go down to Newport for a week! I miss that place. You need go to Hotdog on a stick and buy one and send it up to me! So who's all going down with you? Are all of the marrieds getting to come this time? Sounds like you didn't have a very good Friday the 13th... but hey it could've been a whole lot worse! At least they were able to figure it all out and get it all fixed up. I guess you can just be glad that you have pipes that can break unlike poor Kate! 

Well you'll definitely have to take tons of pictures this week and send them to me so I can see how much fun I'm missing out on! I'm kidding :) Newport has so many memories... going down there with the Brown's was so much fun! Something I'll never forget. 

This week's been a pretty good one. It was Elder Fatani's "Senior Companion Week" Since he's just about through with training so I just got to sit back and relax and let him run the show. It was pretty nice! Transfer calls are coming up this Saturday so we'll see what happens!! There's a ton of new missionaries coming out this next one so I think either Elder Fatani's getting shipped off somewhere else and I'm staying or we're both leaving. We'll see what happens! 

Well I hope you guys have fun in Newport without me... BOOO!!!


-Elder Brown

Monday, June 9, 2014

Cloud 9

I honestly don't even know where to start to talk about this week. No words can really describe how amazing things have been going and it's definitely weeks like these that make everything worth it. We've been so blessed to see so many miracles this week that it's pretty crazy! It's amazing what a little tender love and care and a whole lot of hard work can do for an area. This week we were able to pick up 5 new investigators that are progressing so fast! There's a ton to talk about, but I'll just share a few stories. You'll probably think that I'm going crazy (and I probably am) but last Thursday night I had a dream where I was standing on one of the streets in our area. The next day I woke up and we had decided to go tract for a few hours the night before so we went to the street. We tracted for a few hours which was good and we found a few less actives that we didn't know lived there. We were getting tired and so we decided to try one last house. When we were walking to the door this lady came out to meet us (I was assuming just to tell us to go away or something like that) She told us that the night before she had been praying and asking God to send us or to send someone who could give her a blessing. Jane has met with missionaries a few times over the years and is really good friends with a lot of members of the church. She was just about to call her friend and ask him to come and give her a blessing when we showed up. Heavenly Father knows all of his children.

This past week we've been working a lot with Sarah's (the one who got baptized in the lake) "adopted" mom and her family. We were having a lesson last night at a members' house and were teaching the Plan of Salvation. Throughout meeting with her she had been telling us how she's been bouncing around to all of these different churches but every one that she went to she could just feel that there was something missing. Near the end of the lesson she just stopped us and told us that she knows that she's been taught this before. That the piece that was missing from all of the other churches was finally all coming together. It's amazing how one of the purposes of the Holy Ghost is to "Bring all things to [our] remembrance" I know that it not only brings things to our remembrance that we have learned in this life but also in the life before. All of us were taught the Plan of Salvation before we came to this world and throughout life the Spirit will testify that to us. 

Love you guys have an amazing week!


-Elder Brown 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The "Hot" Wedding

Hey Mudda!
This week went by SO fast. It was pretty much filled with a bunch of meetings all day everyday but it was a lot of fun! We had Zone Conference last Wednesday which was so much fun! For the first part of the day we were in the church receiving all these different trainings but then for the last half we went to the Reindeer farm that a member of the church owns which is right at the base of a really cool mountain to hike called the Butte. For the rest of the day we hiked around the mountain and did a bunch of different activities so it was a lot of fun! Then Thursday we were in Anchorage all day for trainings and a meeting with someone from the General Missionary Board.

So today's the big day! Maddie Fisher's finally going to be baptized! She's a pretty cool girl and really didn't want to get baptized in a baptismal font but wanted to do it just like the pioneers in a lake or river. Usually they really frown upon doing it outside of the church but we pushed President Beesley and he gave in so she's going to get baptized in our Bishops lake. It should be really cool so I'm pretty excited! 

Yeah there's a REALLY big fire down by my first area, Kenai. I guess it's getting pretty close to the town so they're a little worried about that but it rained today so hopefully that helped. The fire's about 200 miles away from us but the smoke up here is so bad and there's ash falling like snowflakes! It's like a thick fog so you really can't see that far. Most people are going around wearing masks and bandanas so they don't breathe it all in.

So to answer your question... Her sister's already a member but she's really less active. Apparently when she was young she fell for a missionary and got baptized so now we are trying to reactivate her.

Well I think that that's about it for this week.

Have a great week mom! 

-Elder Brown
 Zone Conference
A pet parrot someone gave us.
 Hiking Pioneer Peak. He's the man

 Zone conference (Pioneer Peak is in the background) Elder Fatani, just got here last transfer and is getting trained in the area next to us.
 Lynn Jones, getting baptized.
"You have the keys right?" "Uhhhh..." Yeah we lock our keys in the apartment quite a bit...

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I Believe In Miracles

HEELLLLOOOO FAMILY!

It was so good to get to talk to you guys for a bit last week! But it sounds like things are still going A-OK back home and that the house isn't falling apart too bad!  Holy cow I can't believe they took the Young Women out to shoot bows for mutual! How did that go? Haha I remember when my friends and I took girls out on a date shotgun shooting.... man that didn't really work out too great! So I can't imagine that shooting bows would be much better.  I'm kidding! But Young Womens' camp sounds like its going to be a blast! Horseback riding, hiking, and a 8 hour rafting trip with 20 Young Women. I can't imagine anything that could go wrong! It'll be an adventure. That's awesome that Benny's doing so good in baseball. Hopefully some of those things I sent him helped for his state report!
Gosh from the sounds of it all of my single cousins are getting married this year. I got Brandon's wedding invitation. His Fiance is pretty cute! So I talked to Pres Beesley and it turns out he's not going to fly me down for the wedding... :( So let him know that I won't be able to make it and that I'm sorry!

This week we had so many miracles happen! Ever since our last baptism a few weeks ago we've really been hurting for some new people to teach. We've been working really hard and tracting a whole lot but not a whole lot had been happening. The hard thing about our area is that it's the smallest in the whole mission and covers mainly the downtown part of Wasilla so over the years all of the houses have been knocked on quite a bit. I was getting pretty frustrated and so finally about mid-way through last week I decided that I just needed to start fasting for something to happen and for us to be able to find the people that the Lord had prepared for us to help. I knew that there was someone, He's always promised that there is. One of our investigators, Sarah, has been wanting to get baptized for so long but her parents wouldn't give her permission. Miraculously a few days ago her mom finally gave her permission to be baptized so that's going to be happening next weekend!
 
There are two other little girls that we've been teaching for about two weeks at their grandma's house who's in our ward. They've had a real hard life as their mom has been going through a lot of struggles with addictions. They were planning on moving up to Fairbanks with their mom but it turns out that their grandma decided to have them stay down here with her so they'll both be baptized her in a couple of weeks as well. Then on top of that we were given two really good referrals that we have lessons with this week that should turn out so things are going great! It's always amazes me to see how Heavenly Father is always preparing someone to receive this great gospel!

Well I hope you have a great week!

Love you guys!


-Elder Brown