Monday, February 23, 2015

The Visitors….Dun, dun, dun

Hello Family!!

Holy cow there's so much that has happened this week it's just been so awesome! So I don't even know where to start... I think talking about the apostle coming should work. This Wednesday Elder Ballard and Elder Rasband had a layover in Anchorage on their way to Asia so they wanted to spend the time that they had and come and talk with the missionaries. Being around General Authorities is always such a cool experience and a testimony builder. Gosh when I was home I totally took for granted having sacrament with President Erying almost every Sunday. Never again. They both talked to us a lot about missionary work and ways that we can improve. It was kind of an informal meeting so it was pretty funny to see Elder Ballard just joking around. One of the things that he really focused on was giving the remainder of your mission, however long or short that may be, over to the Lord. He said that when we know that we're on the Lords time we accomplish so much more. Another thing that has really helped a whole lot was he talked about teaching with understanding especially in the first visit with an investigator. It really is the make it or break it lesson and whether or not they want to investigate further all depends on that. All in all it was such a cool experience!
We've had so many miracle lessons so things have been going so good. It's times like these on the mission that just makes every thing else all worth it. To start it all off we were able to pick up a new Investigator named Susan. We had tracted into her the week before and seemed like a nice lady but not really too interested but we went back anyway. We wanted to really try and apply what Elder Ballard taught us and went in and taught the Restoration and the spirit was just so strong. It was amazing to see her countenance change as we went through the lesson. The coolest part was when we were talking she stopped us and said "I don't know where but I know that I've heard this somewhere before" It's crazy how much that happens when we teach people! The Perry's are still doing so great and the whole family came to church this week so that was a miracle. We also had another awesome lesson with Erin and got a soft baptismal commitment from her.

So Friday night when Elder Jensen and I were planning we got a call and on the phone it was an 801 number. The only 801 number that calls us is one of the Senior Couples in from the mission office. I answered the phone and was pretty shocked when I didn't recognized the voice and heard "Elder Brown this is your Uncle Joe!" Haha!! I know he's been talking with you but on Saturday he drove up to Eagle River and took us out to lunch. It was pretty fun seeing him again and getting an update on everything that's been going on back in good old Utah. Holy cow things have changed so much more than I thought... I was pretty taken aback and it was really weird seeing someone that I knew from home on my mission but he's the man! He brought us a whole bag of goodies and left it with us so it was so nice of him.

Yesterday I had a meeting with President Robinson and got my transfer call early and found out that I'm leaving Beach Lake and getting transferred to the Rabbit Creek ward in South Anchorage. I can't believe that training Elder Jensen's already over... that flew by so fast! Like always it's going to be hard leaving all of the people that we've been teaching.

Well that's the wrap up of my week I hope yours was just as awesome!

Love you guys!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mt. Baldy

Hello Mother!

Well I didn't think that the Valentines Day package was going to get here on time but I got it the day of so it was perfect timing! You're getting pretty good at this :) Thank you so much for the card reader! Now I can actually send pictures so you can see some things! The Shirts really saved my life though... Most of my white shirts I can only wear under a sweater or coat because well they're not exactly white anymore and some had holes so thank you!

Holy smokes I can't believe that E is coming home already... It honestly makes me sick to look at the calendar and see time tick away. I wish that I could just stay out here for forever. I love it! 

So believe it or not it's actually 50 degrees outside right now!! Everything is melting! I've cried for too long over the lack of snow this year and how warm it's been so I just decided that I'm going to embrace it and try to love it. This week has shot by but it's been so great! Last Monday the Perry's accepted the invitation to be baptized so I'm so excited for them!! There are some people and families that you teach on your mission where you just know that you were sent to them for a reason and I really think that this is one of them. It always amazes me how much love you can have for someone that you haven't even known for too long. This Sunday we also started teaching one of our members friends who has been coming to church with him and she's really solid! There's just been a whole lot of miracles happening! Tomorrow the big dogs are coming into town. we have a meeting with Elder Ballard, Elder Rasband, and Bishop Stevenson. They're on their way to Asia but are making a pit stop in Anchorage so that they can talk to us. I'm so excited!

Valentines day is notoriously known as the worst day for a missionary so instead of letting it live up to that we decided to make a ton of sugar cookies and then take them around and deliver them to all of the people we are teaching. The cookies actually turned out really good! At least when we didn't forget to take them out of the oven..

Yesterday was probably the best P-Day of my mission. I was in heaven. We hiked up to the told of Mt. Baldy which was so pretty. When we got up to the top I whipped out my Dora Kite that I had been waiting for the longest time to use so we flew it around for a while. One of the members loaned us a hiking axe (like the ones they use to hike Mt. Everest.) The entire way down was pure glacier so all you had to do was jump off of the edge and slide down and then use the axe to dig into the snow to slow you down when you needed to avoid anything. Not many other missionaries really wanted to do it that's alright :)

Anyway I love you all a whole lot and I'll talk to you next week!

-Elder Brown

Monday, February 9, 2015

V Day

Hey Clan!

Gosh mom you have no Idea how hard it is trying not to eat anything with milk in it... I feel so bad for Liz she's such a trooper with having to go through all of that bunk. I'd be pretty miffed. The hardest thing is that my taste buds still love it so it's so hard to stay away from! Cheese and ice cream is what gets me the most so hopefully I'll find the strength to stay away.

That's so funny that Steven Foster met her! Oh man I guarantee it was Sister Hewitt! You'll have to ask him if it was Brynn Hewitt that he met. I miss her, she was so much fun to be around! When she was serving in North Pole the first time she saw THE Santa Clause she fell down on the ground and started sobbing so she was his favorite. He ended up getting her a Christmas present and then they almost started teaching him. Think about how cool that would've been if they converted Santa?? That's awesome that the fam went over to Jens for dinner! I love salmon so much now! I think when I'm about to go home I'm going to buy some salmon, shrimp, and halibut to bring home with me so that we can have an Alaskan seafood feast!

This week has gone by so fast... and it's been so much fun! I have the funniest pictures to send you so hopefully soon I'll find a way to send them out. This week was full of a whole bunch of service. Each week we go out to a place called the Eagle River Nature center which is like 15 miles out of town in the middle of the most breath taking mountains you'll ever see. The first time we went out there they had us go snowshoeing for 3 hours on these trails to pack all of the snow down for a bike race this weekend. I'm not really sure if you can call that service but I was in heaven! We volunteered last Saturday for the bike race and Elder Jensen and I had to dress up in Polar Bear and Wolf Suits and then hike a mile into the race to direct the bikers for a while. it was a riot and all of the people loved it. Yep that's what missionaries do in Alaska. Dress up in animal costumes and direct traffic. Haha I'm just kidding!

The Perry's are still doing really really good and tonight we're planning on inviting Sister Perry to be baptized so wish us luck... It's going to be great! Ever since the ward split our area has been struggling a little bit so quite a bit of the time we just spend a lot of our time either street contacting or tracting which is pretty fun! You sure meet a lot of interesting people that way.

Well that's what's been going on up here but I hope you guys have a great week and a HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!!!

Love ya,
Elder Brown

Monday, February 2, 2015

Lactose Intolerant

Hello Hello!

I'm having some pretty serious technical difficulties right now and I can't get it all figured out... hopefully by next week I will because I have a ton of awesome picture that I need to send to you!
I bet it's so nice to finally have your other half back! Kate is boss so I'm sure with her being gone for 18 exhausting months you're more than happy to hand the reigns over to her! That's so crazy that Kate met someone from Vanuatu at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building whose family she knew from her mission! That'll be so sweet for her to go to lessons with them. What's even crazier is that you guys hadn't seen Meet the Mormons... You're terrible Mormons! Just kidding ;) Anyway did you like it? Who was your favorite person?

This week was so great! at 12:45 Sunday morning I woke up to my poor comp in the bathroom throwing up everything he had ever eaten so it didn't end too well but that's ok!  Anyway yesterday was a pretty marquee moment of my mission! It was the first time that I had a Native family come to church! Kinda sad since I spent 6 months in a place where 70% of the population is Native but hey I was just happy that it happened. The Perry's who we have been teaching were the ones that came. Fast and testimony meetings are my favorite time to bring investigators just because the spirit's always so strong. It was so cool how just about every testimony was exactly what they needed to hear! Needless to say they loved it so things are going awesome with them. At the beginning of last week we also put our new investigator on date for baptism. She's a lobbyist for an Alaskan senator so she's a character. Oh boy can she talk, and talk, and talk. But we love her!

Last night during wind down time I was watching some videos from the Church History Discs and the story popped up about the 3 18 year old boys who helped almost the entire handcart company who had been beaten by bad weather across the Platt River. All three of them later ended up dying and Brigham Young stated that by that deed alone all three of them had inherited Celestial Glory. It just made me think how lucky I am to live in a time where really the great sacrifices have already been paid for by all of those who came before me. We have it so easy! I think that because of it so many of us are too relaxed and comfortable with where we are and so many of the simple easy things that we are supposed to be doing daily just fall through the cracks. It reminded me of the quote that talks about how so many people would say that they would die for the Savior. But how many of them would live for him? Anyway just something to think about!

Hope ya know I love you guys a whole lot! Have a great week!
P.s. Well family I have some bad news... I officially self diagnosed myself as lactose intolerant. Every time I eat something with milk in it I get pretty sick... bummer dude