Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I'm Staying Here

Hi Mom!

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

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

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

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

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

Elder Brown

Monday, June 15, 2015


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

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

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

Have a great week!

-Elder Brown

Brother Hemmingway

Hey Motha!!

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

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

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

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

Love ya!

Elder Brown

Wasted P-Day

Hey mother!!

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

Love ya!

Give Me This Mountain

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

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

-Elder Brown

Monday, May 18, 2015

Stellar Week

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

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

Have a great week!

-Elder Brown

Monday, May 4, 2015

Hello MOTHER! :)

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

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

Hope you all have a great week!
Elder Brown

Monday, April 20, 2015

High On A Mountain Top

Well Hello there!

Oh my goodness mother you are a champion :) I was trying my best to not roll around on the floor and bust up laughing when I read your chicken coop story! I'm so glad that you survived being cooped up with them for that long and that they didn't attack you! I wouldn't have guessed it would have happened to anyone else though because that's always how your luck goes! But hey, you keep me pretty entertained! It's even better because you were trying to sneak across real quick in the PJ's haha.
Thank you so much for checking up on Weber for me. You all are just great! I'm glad that you finally support me going to Weber. Just remember that it's only for the Associates and then I'm outta there.
Gosh I can't believe that everyone's all coming home... Where was Matt Waggers on his mission?  Doesn't Mikey get home in just a little over a month? All of the big rush of missionaries is finally starting to wind down and they're all coming home. There's been a pretty big drop in the number of missionaries in our mission. We keep on losing more and more and as a result we have to keep on combining different areas and shutting some down. Hopefully when summer comes another big rush will come through!
No more Thailand... :( Oh man. I was talking to my friend Mckay Luker who's serving in Thailand and I was going to try and go out with them and take them to lunch. But that's alright we can go another summer. Florida will still a blast! All I'm saying though is that I'm not going in the ocean! You'll have to go look up all of the videos of the THOUSANDS of sharks right off of the beaches in Florida. 

Holy cow this has been the most exhausted I've ever been in my life. Every morning when the alarm goes off a 6 for us to wake up and go running, I just have to lie to myself and say that I'm going to take a nice long lunch nap! But this week has been great! We had our first of seven zone conferences this week. The theme that we came up with is pretty sweet so I'm proud of it! It's called "The Journey of Faith". For the 2nd half of the conference we go on a hike in the mountains and it's all supposed to symbolize Lehi and his family's journey from Jerusalem to the promised land. All along the way we have different activities and trainings on events that happened during their journey such has, retrieving the brass plates, Lehi's dream, Nephi breaking his bow, and building the ship to the promised land. 
For the brass plates the 2nd counselor in the mission presidency is a master wood worker so for each missionary he made a brass plate out of wood that says the name of their zone conference and then 2015 that they all have to retrieve. I'll have to take some pictures of the activities in action this week and then send it out to you next time!
Our investigators Blain and Abigail came to church yesterday and they loved it! I was able to talk on the Restoration and it was just perfect for them. The whole ward just swallowed them up which was perfect. This ward is probably by far the missionary minded ward and they're so good at sharing it all with their friends so we should have some pretty good contacts coming up soon! 

Anyway I got to run but I love you all! Have a great week!

-Elder Brown

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Time Flies

Hello Hello!

Well mother I think I should start off by saying how proud I am of you! I can't believe how awesome your bracket was this year! Next year when I'm back you're going to have to do mine for me and give me some pointers so that I can finally have a bracket that does alright haha. Did you beat Ben's bracket? That's so sad to hear about Doc Freeman but I honestly just love that man!! When I heard President Erying mention him in his talk my heart dropped because I wanted to badly to see him when I got back and just give him a big hug! Especially after all that he's done this last year for our family. He's definitely a man of all men and I hope that his family is doing alright!  

Being the week before trasnfers this last week was a fiasco as always full of putting together all of the logisitcs for the missionaries, finalizing transfers, and making calls upon calls. But I love the maddness :) The new missionaries came in on Monday and I love being around them so much! It's crazy to think that just a few years ago I was in their same shoes wide eyed and awestruck. Yesterday we had transfer meeting and then full of making runs to the airport trying to get all the missionaries off to their new areas. At night we had the bye bye dinner/testimony meeting for all of the departing missionaries. They always fly out super late at night and early in the morning so last night we dropped off a group to go home at 12AM 4:30AM and 8AM. I guess you could say I'm just a little bit tired!!! Probably my least favorite thing about serving here is dropping the missionaries off at the airport who are going home... I hate it! It's so crazy how close you can get to so many different missionaries so quick and then it's just devastating to see them all go home. But I'm so excited to see all of them when I get back! 

I've been thinking lately a lot about how fast time goes. Sometimes it goes by so fast that all you want to do it just sit down and cry. It really amazes me how as human beings all we do is live for the future and all too often we forget to slow down smell the roses and just live in the moment. My new goal for the rest of my mission is to just live every day like its my last and love every second of it! You can't stop time but you can decide what you're going to do with it. I'm so grateful for the time that I've been able to spend so far in Alaska! 

I think what you said about members in Utah not being the greatest at missionary work is so true! At least for me I know that before my mission I never even thought about it one bit. The crazy thing is that Every General Conference its one of the most talked about items so I don't know how I missed it my whole life. I think since we just live in a neighborhood that's completely surrounded by members we feel like there's just no work to do. But I've been thinking about a pretty good game plan so when I come home that's all going to change! So your homework is that all of you need to start praying for the names of people that we're going to share the gospel with this summer and we're all stocking up on our Thai Books of Mormon and proselyting materials before we go to Thailand! It's gonna be a blast :) 

Well anyway hope you know I love you all!

-Elder Brown

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Superbowl Sunday

Happy Easter Yesterday!!

Holy Smokes well I think it's safe to say that you had a pretty great week! Looks like it was nice and warm in St George and Las Vegas! Yep it snowed on Easter here. But luckily it melted really quick so it didn't put too much of a damper on the day. I don't miss a whole lot of things (Neither do I think about it hardly at all) but I decided that if I miss one thing that's it''s being able to go under water... kinda weird but all of the pictures that you sent me from you all at the pools made me realize that! Man I can't believe that Liz got asked to Prom 5 times! Looks like she's quite the hot item! Hopefully she's being a good little girl and is reading her Book of Mormon and praying everyday because spiritual beauty trumps all! One of the things that I didn't realize is just how easy it is to listen to General Conference Talks, read our scriptures, etc. etc. nowadays. The world and our lives are getting busier and busier yet Heavenly Father has provided a way for us to still incorporate the gospel into our daily lives without a hassle at all. Elder Babb and I luckily have an iPhone and so every spare second that I'm not doing anything I've started to go to the Gospel Library app and start either listening to talks or the scriptures. Man it's made the biggest difference! Especially on mornings where I'm feeling a little grumpy or in a bad mood it's crazy how fast it turns my attitude and day around. I'd definitely recommend it!
By the way Prego Mego is lookin the part pretty well! I can't believe that she's going to be due so soon... just hopefully not on the 7th :) 

I can't believe that another week has zipped on by... This week was full of meetings. Wednesday we had MLC, Thursday Trainer Trainee Meeting, and then General Conference on the weekend and in between all of that we had to get transfers done. I love meetings :) With transfer calls coming up later this week we spent a lot of time in President Robinsons office working on transfers. I'd always wondered how it was done so it was such a cool experience to see the revelation flow and see how it all works. It really reminds me a lot of how the Apostles selected the missions where the missionaries who submit their papers will serve. We go in his office and pull up all of the missionaries on a projector on the wall and then pray and see where their new areas need to be and which missionary they need to be with. It really amazed me how when the companionship and area is right you get a huge confirming feeling that that's what needs to happen. It's really helped me learn how to use and receive revelation.
The teaching in our area is getting better and better! The members have been doing so well and are really fired up about sharing the gospel! This week we had 2 members invite their friends over to their home to take the discussions and 2 other committed to invite their friends. We've started working with 2 new families that have a whole lot of potential so we're pretty stoked for that!
General Conference of course was amazing as always! I call it the missionary Super Bowl because those are the 2 days that I'm looking forward to for months! I love being a part of a church that is led my living apostles and prophets that can guide and direct us. There were so many things that I learned that I need to work on and change so I'm pumped to start!

Well today we're putting together an Easter Egg hunt for our Zone so it should be a blast! I'm doing it Grandma and Grandpa Brown style with numbering all of the eggs so hopefully it works. And of course I'm going to be sporting those beautiful bunny ears that you sent me the entire time :)

Love you all!

-Elder Brown

Monday, April 6, 2015

Rackin' Up the Sky Miles

Well lets be honest... Right now you're probably relaxing under a palm tree, soaking it up in a big old hot tub, drinking a pina colada. Needless to say I'm a little bit envious but I decided to be nice and email you all anyway :)

Sounds like exciting times in the Brown household! I hope that you're having an awesome Spring Break enjoying St. George and Las Vegas and that Ben kills it in his basketball tournament this week!

Man to sum up everything that's happened this week would take for days so I'll just give you a few of the highlights! Monday night after P-Day Elder Babb and I flew out to Juneau and got there right around 9:30 or so. There's 2 sets of Elders there along with a set of Sisters. The Elders live in a double wide trailer that's in the lot next to the stake center. It's so much fun living with and extra set of missionaries and especially in a trailer! To be honest, Juneau stole my heart. The day we were there it was bright blue skys with not a cloud in sight so we decided to ride bikes that day. It was the first time in almost 2 years that I had ridden a bike (I felt a little bit like what Kate feels like for a few seconds). I love being on a bike! You can talk to so many more people that way and it's so much better than being locked up in the car the whole day. I really wish I served in a walking or biking area. Would've been a blast! Anyway, Juneau was so beautiful! I really think that you need to make a trip on a cruise or something there someday. We went on exchanges with the Elders there which went really well then we woke up early Wednesday morning and got on the plane and flew out to Ketchikan which is another pretty big island in SE Alaska. Ketchikan's a pretty amazing place! The airport is on an island so you have to take the ferry to get across to the main island. It was really rainy the entire day that we were there but it still was so pretty! It really reminded me of the picture of dad when he went on his fishing trip to Alaska. I think I'm in love with the feel on being on a island... maybe I'm gonna have to live on one one day! There's two sets of Elders there as well so we spent the day on exchanges with them as well and helping them with the work. President and Sister Robinson were with there with us as well and their hotel was right on the dock so out their window they saw a big pod of Orca Killer Whales "playing" (They probably were gonna kill it) with a seal. I didn't get to see it so I was a little jealous but pretty cool nonetheless! 

Flying back to Anchorage we caught what's called the milk run flight. We took off from Ketchikan and then landed in Wrangell, Petersburg, and Juneau before we made it to Anchorage so we were only the plan for 6 hours before we finally got back. If that wasn't crazy enough Friday night we drove on down to Soldotna and I got to spend the day in Kenai! Oh how I miss that place... I was able to go and see the Olson's (Sister Olson was my first baptism) as well Sister McCubbins who knew dad so well. To be honest this week more than probably any other I've been able to feel the closest to dad. The coolest thing was being able to take some pictures 33 years later in the exact places doing the exact same thing where he once stood. Sometimes I look around and think man, dad has looked and the same views and trod in the same places. I was reading in my patriarchal blessing just the other day and I love the last sentence that I want to share with you. D&C 84:88 is stated and then it says "your father will lead out in that great blessing in your life." How amazing it is that even though at times I feel too far away and that it was so long ago that he's able to be with and watch over me as my guardian angel forever!

Hope you have a great Spring Break!

Love you guys!

-Elder Brown

P.S. --- CHALLENGE! If you haven't seen it already then you need to go to watch the new video. Then every single person in the family needs to pray about someone that they're either going to show to a non member in the church either in person, via a Personal message (not just posting it on your Facebook timeline) or text or email! I promise if you pray that someone will come to mind and it will come naturally :)

Elder Mike Brown 2015
 Elder Steve Brown 1981