Monday, January 27, 2014

One Hit Wonder

Hey Hey!
Well I hope everyone had another great LONG week without school! Those Ice Castles at Midway seemed so sweet! I'm so jealous that you got to go to them. I always wanted to go, but hey maybe when I get back! Everyone here's been talking about Frozen so I hear it's really good! Everyone always said that you really get cut off from the rest of the world when you hit 6 months and I never really believed it... But its so true! For some reason you think that life back home is just on a stand still and that everyone's just waiting for you to get back. But life goes on, new songs/movies come out, etc. It's pretty crazy! Gosh I can't believe it's already that time of year for Lizzy's Ballet concert! If feels just like it was yesterday that mom and I went to it! I guess time just flies when you're having fun right?
This week has been pretty good but a little bit abnormal. In this last week we've been able to find more investigators then pretty much all of the other weeks combined since I've been up here! Which is really good! The only problem is Bethel is the land of the one hit wonders. We find all these people to teach and teach them the Restoration and they love it, feel the spirit, and commit to reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it. But then a few days go on and they completely vanish from off of the face of the earth. For example... This week we had our 2nd lesson with our investigator Paul. We watched the Restoration DVD with him and by the end of the lesson he was preaching to us about how Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God and how he knew it. He even went to his Preacher and told him! haha! But he left yesterday out to the villages to work until the end of April... It gets a little bit frustrating but hey the work goes on!

So on Friday my poor little companion sprained his ankle when we were playing basketball with the Natives and he landed on someones foot. So since Friday he's been on crutches but is gettin better! The only problem has been that its been 40 degrees all week long! So everything has been melting and turning into a complete ice rink everywhere. Yesterday we were able to go to the hospital and get him some Ice cleats to put on  the bottom of his crutches so they don't slip out from underneath him. Everyone in Bethel puts on these Ice cleats on the bottom of their shoes so they dont slide around. It's pretty cool!  Yesterday we had to cross the half melted Kuskokwim river and walk a half mile to get to sister Pitka's house. Shes a less active lady that lives on her own little island. As we were walking across I was sure he was going to fall so I was recording him the whole time so I could catch it (I'm a great companion right?) Funny thing was I ate it twice and almost slid into the water and he had to save me by throwing his crutch out and pulling me back in, while he was crutching along just fine! karma. All of the cars on the road were stopping to watch these weird people walk across the melting river on crutches!
I hope you all have an awesome week! Love you!
-Elder Brown

Monday, January 20, 2014

Home At Last

Hey Family!

Haha thanks for sending me all of those pictures! Its good to see everything back home seems to being going alright. I loved those pics of Mason with Bella! Haha it looks like she's softened up to him a little bit but I'm sure it's still a battle for attention between them. I can't believe that you finally had a mouse in the house! With snowball roaming around all the time he always seem to take care of the problem but now you might have to look into getting another cat! Is snowball even alive? I don't think I even saw him before I left... I'm glad you and the kids get a nice long weekend! Going up to the Ice castles at midway will be sweet! I'd always heard about it and seen pictures but have never been there... you'll have to send me pictures! 

So after two weeks we finally made it back to Bethel! This last week has been a little crazy... I stayed up in Wasilla until Zone Conference which was Wednesday which was just fine and dandy until later that night when I found out that I had gotten food poisoning. I was laying on the floor of the bathroom all night at the mission home just doin what someone sick with food poisoning does! Thursday morning came and I felt a little bit better. Our flight back out to Bethel flew out at 10:30 so we went to the airport and got on the plane. When we were coming in to land a storm had rolled in and the fog was Reeally thick! We tried to land 2 or 3 times and then they just decided that they were going to fly us back to Anchorage and book us for another flight tomorrow morning at 6:30. So we went back to Anchorage for yet another full day. Well the next morning we woke up at 3:30 to go to the airport only to find out that our flight had been delayed until 11. We sat around in the airport for 5 hours and talked to people and such and then finally we were able to get on the plane and actually make it to Bethel! I can't tell you how good it feels to finally be back and get back to work. You think a nice 2 week vacation out of your area would be great but it's not really that way!
This weekend in Bethel was the kuskokwim 300 which is the 2nd largest dog sledding race in Alaska next to the iditarod. The whole town really gets into it so there was huge parties and events all week long! It was a lot of fun to see all of the dog teams take off but it doesnt really get your adrenaline flowing like a football or basketball game haha. My companion really is an awesome guy and I'm excited to be with him! I'm really excited to finally get to work and with the Lord's help see what we can do. I'm really hoping that before I leave that I can see the hot-tub in the church filled with the beautiful yellow water we have out here! haha!
That was pretty hard to hear about what happened to Jon. It's especially sad since I had been thinking a lot about him lately and had a letter that I had wrote him that I was going to go drop off to the post office today. He was such an awesome guy and my best friend for a long time. We had so many fun times growing up and he's someone I'll always remember. 

Well I hope everyone has an awesome long weekend!

Happy MLK Day!
Elder Brown

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Mission Vacation

Hello Family!!!
Man this week has been a little bit strange but so much fun! Since we had transfers on Tuesday. and then Zone Conference on the Wednesday 10 days after that, they decided that instead of flying us out to Bethel and then back in about a week that they would just keep us in and send us on a little tour of the mission! Tuesday I met up with my new companion Elder Nelson. Like I said he's from Bountiful and we played basketball in Jr High together. He is an awesome guy and we're really going to have a lot of fun together. (and of course work really hard too :) ) After transfer meeting we made the long voyage down to Kenai with the new Elders that are going to be working there. It really is one of the prettiest drives in the world! The whole time you're driving through mountain passes with glaciers on both sides of you. It such an awesome drive! It really was so much fun to go back there. I miss it so much! I'm really hoping that I get to go back and see the people there.  They are so amazing!  I got to go around and visit everyone again and see what's been going on. It felt like I had been gone way longer than 3 months. While I was down there, I was able to go and see Sister Olson (my recent convert) and her husband. They told me that they had been able to make it up to Anchorage to do baptisms for the dead and that a year from when she was baptized that they're planning on going through the temple to be sealed together as spouses for time and all eternity. This really has been one of the most rewarding moments of my mission. To be able to see the people you work with progress and move towards the temple is such a blessing. As missionaries our goal isn't to baptize. So many people think that it is, but that's only the first step. Our goal is to see everyone dressed in white ready to go into the temple and partake of the blessings it has to offer all of us and to help them make it there. They told me that they want me to be there when they go through so I'm so excited for that!

Yesterday we went to the Jeep dealership in Soldotna to pick up 2 brand new 2014 Jeep Compass's to shuttle up by ourselves from Soldotna to Anchorage. It was SO weird being all by myself for FOUR WHOLE HOURS!! I didn't know what to do all by myself for that long! You'll probably laugh and think I'm weird but it's so true! After we made it to Anchorage and dropped one of the Jeeps off we drove up to Wasilla to visit Elder Nelson's old area. On the way there a huge whiteout storm hit us out of no where. We were driving down the freeway pretty fast when all of the sudden a car appeared out of no where at a dead stop about 30 yards in front of us. There literally was no way that we could have stopped that fast. It was impossible. The roads were extremely icy and slick and everyone was sliding all over the place. But some how when we slammed on the breaks we didn't even skid for a second and were able to stop. We were both freaking out a little bit because if we would've hit them I definitely wouldn't be here right now. It's amazing to see God's hand in your life and to truly see how he is constantly watching over us where ever we go!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Six Months Done and Gone

Hello Family!
This email gets to be short and sweet because I'm in transit and don't really have too much time! But it sounds like everyone had a pretty great New Years! Haha that picture of Mase on the porch made me laugh pretty hard. It doesn't look like New Years is his favorite holiday...
Just a few days ago we had transfer calls and found out that Elder Nielson's going to be leaving me and that I've been exiled for another transfer! It was a real bummer that I'm losing him but I'm so excited that I get to stay out in Bethel longer. I LOVE it there! My new companion's name is Elder Caden Nelson. He lives in NSL and went to the high school down south. He went to Jr. High and played basketball there so I think it'll be a lot of fun and we should be able to see a lot happen. They sent us into Anchorage for transfers and president decided that he's sending me back to Kenai for a week to help the Elders that are there get things figured out and going to I'm so excited to be able to head back down there for a while.
Last week I hit my 6 month mark... that's so crazy! Looking back it seems like I've had 3 years worth of memories already but that I've only been out a few weeks!
Well there's this dumb little clock on my computer telling me how much time I have left and it's about to time out so I'm sorry this email's been terrible but I promise I'll have more time next week!
Elder Brown

New Year's Dinner