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