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!

-Elder Brown

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


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.