Favorite Scripture: 3 Nephi 5:13

Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

I was so spoiled! Thank you everyone!

Best Christmas Ever!

This week has been crazy! Obviously a lot of giving and surprises and Holy Jolly spirits. it was great absolutely wonderful! Last p-day I needed to get a haircut. Haircuts are very expensive here in Irvine. We went into a haircut place and the price was $30 for a stinking haircut. So I said ha ha riggggggght. So I found out there was an elder named Elder Alshengetti who is from Saudi Arabia who knew how to cut hair. So we went to his place and he whacked at it. I got as close to a buzz haircut you could get. My mom saw my picture and now calls me "helmet head". So it fits because I always where my helmet when I ride my bike ha ha. (the little yellow beat up one) So that was fun, getting my hair cut off by someone who doesn't really know how to cut hair. Another fun experience I had was driving down the streets of Irvine California and then I see a "PHO" sign and I was like PPPPPHHHHHHHOOO!! and I remembered Brother Shepherd,my Sunday School teacher, talking about his mission in Washington and eating PHO so I had to go and try it and it looked so good. Its a Vietnamese soup and they put all different kinds of meats into it and oh my gosh is was so good I was able to use my chopsticks skills!!!!!! Thanks brother Shepherd for the insight.
I have been teaching this guy named Josiah. He is African American and he loves Jesus very much and is a great guy. He is a rap artist and he is making a gospel rap CD and stuff ha ha. I was like cool man and i never knew that the gospel and rap could go together but i guess it can. He said that there are a lot of boring gospel songs and that he is just making music that this generation will enjoy. I was like ya rap is spoiling the minds of many teens out there if you could get the gospel rap out there and change peoples lives. So It is pretty chill. I know a rap artist who is into the gospel ha ha. Josiah is my boy. ha ha
This Christmas weekend has been amazing. This weekend has been the best weekend I have had thus far on my mission. I was able to celebrate Christmas Eve by going to the Bishop's house and spending time with his family. They have a daughter who is out on a mission in Peru. Dinner was amazing just like at home and we got spoiled having a Christmas stocking. Christmas morning I received the best gifts in the world. I got some brand new Mountain Dew pajamas, I got Grizzy's twin, and I got a wonderful calender of my cousins and aunts and Uncles. Then a ton of great stockings from family and friends. (my mom will post a picture of my stash). Thank you so much for the letters and packages. This Christmas really meant a lot. I was able to have German pancakes Christmas morning with the Dougal family. Brother Dougal was our ward mission leader. We then went tracting on Christmas and it was so weird. I was able to talk to my family! I have only been gone for a couple months and every one sounds different and it was weird that they were eating Christmas dinner with out me. It was all good because the next day i was able to be a part of the best Christmas present ever. To see Zack and Zane get Baptized. I prayed really hard that my first baptism would be a spiritual and memorable experience and it was. Zack was in the hospital with bronchitis the day before on Christmas but wanted to get baptized so bad and he did. It was amazing to see the faith that they had and knew how important this step was in their life. It has blessed many peoples lives around them including myself. They are absolutely wonderful and it made for a very white December here in California. The spirit was so strong and I loved and enjoy every moment of it. The Christmas Spirit was up and Elder Bannister and I felt so blessed! It was the Best!!!!!!!!! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that you will keep on celebrating our Savior Jesus Christ through out the year. Everyone have a wonderful New Year! Talk to all of you later Peace.


Elder Brown

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 20, 2010

December 20,1010
Friends and Family,

I have had a good week! I attended a zone conference and we did a Christmas Program. I was one of the Narrators and it was just fun having the spirit of Christmas with all the other Elders and sisters. President and Sister Watrous are awesome and they are just wonderful. I don't know if you have noticed but it has been pouring here in California. California drivers are pretty aggressive drivers but don't know how to drive in the rain. We were riding our bikes up to a light and a Honda civic going about 45 miles and hour totally hits head on with a Toyota Tacoma turning left head on. It was crazy to witness that. We biked hard to get there and called 911. It was crazy. Asian dude obviously had a concussion and ya it was crazy. We were there for an half an hour and the detective came by and questioned us what we saw. Then we came up to another accident that just happened too. But nobody got to hurt and Elder Bannister and I were just trying not to get hit by any cars. It started to rain a lot harder that night on Friday and we were just biking and these cops started yelling at us because we were riding our bikes in the rain. We were just doing out jobs but we booked it home and I was turning into our apartment and I knew I was going too fast to turn sharp and I pressed on the brakes and my back wheel just slid right around banging into the curb and I flew Nicely on a bed of roses ha ha. Ya, I have been eating it a lot! ha ha. I had an exchange with my Zone Leader Elder Soffe and we were driving and I saw OCC. I thought that was cool that it was so close to my area. I have some friends that play football there. And I told him about Jorey Hansen who I grew up with and played football with. He was like, "I know him we talk to him all the time". So we went to his apartment and knocked and figured he was back home for the break but it was cool to think someone I knew was here in my mission. Small world. haha. I was tracting last night and it was raining the hardest it has since I have been here. We were soaked it was like I jumped into a pool and started tracting. We have a lot of potential investigators that said we can come back because they had some sympathy for us and saw how diligent we were ha ha. I have a funny story about a contact. We knocked on this guys door and he answers and said his girlfriend use to be Mormon or something like that. I asked him when it would be a good time to come back and sit with him and talk about our message. He said with attitude, "next year" ha ha. I said GREAT we will come by in a few weeks. I was just so happy ha ha. I knew exactly what he meant. But it was funny. He then said, "no, next year around this time" with attitude and i totally ruined his mojo. It was funny I just thanked him and told him to have a wonderful day ha ha. So, I am enjoying this Christmas season in the rain. We were able to get Kevin, a 15 year old kid who plays basketball to come to church with us yesterday and he loved it. So the work is going. I have my first two baptisms this upcoming Sunday!!! I am confirming the Holy ghost to each of them in Sacrament meeting and I am nervous preparing myself spiritually so it will be memorable. I love you all. Have a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! talk to all of you later!

Sunnier days in California! Had the Opportunity to go to Newport Temple!

Out Working in the rain!!!

Santa Claus Came Early

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Brother Sparks surprised me with a visit. It took me a minute to realize he was from home. He brought lots of goodies from my family.

Getting in the Christmas Spirit!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Family and Friends,

Well this week has not been my best week. We tracted all day and tried to get in to teach some people but it just didn't happen. I was depressed you know and then we were able to get an appointment with our most progressing investigators. We taught Zack and Zane twice this last week and we changed their baptismal date to December 26th. The day after Christmas. These boys are awesome and doing all they can to follow the Savior. I am very proud of them and the spirit is always there when we teach them. The Lord has really prepared them for the "Good News". Even though we didn't teach anyone else this week, I am so grateful for being able to teach them and being part of something special. This week has been slow and I was able to go to the West Park Ward Christmas party. That was fun! ha ha. I went from an amazing week to a not so or the worst week on my mission. Things happen and I know there is opposition in all things. I just need to keep my chin up. I know it is because something really good is about to happen. The advesary is trying to stop us. I will keep on trucking with the spirit to guide me and be my support. I love you all I hope that you took my challenge to read the Book of Mormon from last week. You all have a jolly Christmas and don't be afraid to write. Its cool I got p-days to write people if you don't all know. haha. I will keep you posted on good experiences for next week. Oh yea, It was 80 degrees today. Gotta love that California sun!

Elder Brown

Monday, December 6, 2010

Elder Bannister and I out working hard!

My Sweet New Bike!

Thanksgiving basket from home, toaster and pillow tie! Ahhhhh!

December 6, 2010

Family and Friends,

I had the opportunity to have dinner with a spectacular member and celebrate her birthday. She is like a second mother who takes care of me and does tremendous missionary efforts. Why she is so special is because she has Charity, the pure love of Christ. She is always thinking about others before herself and wanting everyone to know about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Bobi, if you are reading this blog I just want to say Thank YOU!!! again. ha.
This week has been crazy for the good. Elder Bannister and I have had a lot of appointments and teaching opportunities. We were able to teach 4 families that have been less active and they attended church this Sunday. One of them hasn't been to church for thirty years. It's amazing to see people relying on the Savior to change their life. I was able to tract into a member that hasn't been to church in a year. I found out that he went To American Fork High School and played football for Coach Knight. He has a brother on his mission right now who is just a year older and went to the same high school. He had us come over to celebrate his birthday with him and with his wife and daughter. We didn't know if they were members also. We found out his wife is a born again Christian but she is very nice. I enjoyed talking to him about sports and about school back home. When we started to talk about the Gospel and the Book of Mormon I could tell how uncomfortable he was. I know that he knows that he should be going to church. He has all these examples in his family that are strong members. We gave him and his wife invitations to read the Book of Mormon and pray if its true. I love that family and I want them to enjoy the fruit that can be produced if they read the Book of Mormon and gain that witness. We also tracted into another family that was Catholic. We taught them the first lesson and invited them to be baptized. The Spirit was so strong and in the lesson we explained what baptism was and how we make a covenant with God. Carlos the Father says (after I have invited him) "I have already been baptized when I was a little baby" then he waits a second. Then he says "I don't even remember being baptized and didn't know that I made a covenant". Right then and there I know the Holy Ghost was working on them. They accepted Baptism and to read and pray and ask God if the Book of Mormon is true. It was Awesome! I notice when I teach with the spirit and when I don't. When I don't I am going million miles per hour saying things that just don't make sense. ha ha. I don't have great communication skills ha ha. But when I am teaching by the spirit I am calm talking ever so clearly like the words just flow. I am so grateful that I can recognize the spirit and I know when to change my attitude so that i can teach by the spirit.
I had the opportunity to go see a member who is very depressed and down. Her only child that she has taken care of herself left to go on a mission a month ago. She did not want him to leave her and was having a tough time coping with that depression. She called Bishop Yost and he called us to give her a blessing because she was very sick. Bishop Yost asked me to give a scripture thought that would help her cope and feel peace about her son being on his mission. Right away I thought about King Mosiah and his sons. They wanted to go teach the Lamanites in the land of Nephi. He was worried that if they should go that they would perish. So King Mosiah went and prayed to the Lord. The Lord promised him that his sons will bring many souls unto Christ and that they will be preserved and have eternal Life. After I read that little story she started to cry. The spirit was very strong. I bore my testimony that it is hard to leave your family. To miss a love one (her son) that will be gone for a long period of time. But he is doing the Lords work. He is doing the best thing he could do in the eternal aspect. I told her how much I missed my family and how much I love them but I know that I am being blessed and my family and along with those that God had put in contact to me. I told her the same for her son. I had a very spiritual experience and realized how much the Lord guides us to help others. We gave her a blessing and she felt peace and comfort. That is what the Holy Ghost does. I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon. That my Heavenly Father through the holy ghost has answered my prayers to know that it is true. That Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God. By his Fruit I know. I am so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For his love for me and His Atonement. I am striving to be the best representative of him as I can. This Fast Sunday I bore my testimony and challenged the whole Westpark ward to read the Book of Mormon and to do as Moroni has Said PRAY AND ASK GOD. For those who are reading this blog I am also giving you an invitation to do the same. This book that has changed my life! Love you all have good week!!!!! HOORAY for ISRAEL!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Family and Friends,

These pass couple weeks I have been so busy and I have so much to talk about ha ha ha. So bare with me. I had the opportunity to have dinner with president Watrous. Bobi (an amazing ward missionary that helps us with everything invited us to have dinner with her and the mission president and his wife. Just me and Elder Bannister. I love Bobi but she thought she was doing us a favor and said this is a once in a life time chance to have dinner with the president with just you and your companion. Yes, that was true but I was so nervous and stressed out ha ha. I just told myself to act myself and I did and it turned out great. I love president and Sister Watrous! It didn't turn out as bad as I thought but we didn't get out of dinner in a hour so that was the only bad thing ha ha. Bobi, if you see this "Thank you" for all your work. I was able to finish The Book of Mormon for the third time this year and for the first time on my mission. I love The book of Mormon and the Gospel of Jesus Christ that is in it. I am reading more then I have ever had and I love it. I also love personal and companionship study! We are teaching two young men Zack and Zane!! 13 and 16 years old. We have taugh them almost all the lessons and their baptisms are scheduled January 8th. SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!! We are continuing to teach them and reactivating their father who is an amazing guy. I was able to go on another exchange with the Yale elders over to the Chinese Branch. I was with Elder Ellis and we taught an old 80 year old Chinese man that spoke no English. I just smiled and nodded my head. ha ha. Elder Ellis and I were tracting this one neighborhood or cul-de-sac and we were on one side of the street and there were to girls on the other going door to door also and we met up house to house. Elder Ellis told me they were Jehovah Witnesses. I said, "No way" and started laughing hysterically. How often does that happen! It was like clash of the religions. We tried talking to them but they skipped the house we were at and went to all the houses we went to. It was ridiculous, but funny. I also taught English to a Chinese and Korean sister and they were so funny but it is hard to teach English when they don't understand you and I don't understand them ha ha. By the way, I keep calling exchanges transfers. I don't know why but an exchange is one day but a transfer is at least 6 weeks. I did another exchange with the zone leaders. I was with Elder Lawrence from Riverton, Utah. He has been out for a year and 6 months. We found a lot of potential investigators and talked to a Buddhist monk old lady who hair was shaven and had a sacrifice table. She had all the vegetables she would sacrifice. It was the weirdest thing I have ever seen. She was very nice though. ha ha. Turkey day was the best, it was like every other day ha ha. The only difference was we had a huge Turkey dinner with the Moore family. I enjoyed it because I was able to tell everyone why I was so thankful to have the Book of Mormon in my life and being apart of Jesus Christ's Church. My Parents spoiled me by giving Brother Sparks ( a member of my home ward) a ton of goodies, a toaster and a pillow tie ha ha which he dropped off on his trip through California. Thank you for that surprise Mom and Dad it made my day. I also got a sweet Christmas tree that I adore. I have had the terrible experience of losing three amazing investigators who were my friends and I loved very much. First family I taught Lia and her two children. This week they have been praying, reading the Book of Mormon and committed to coming to church and we were going to set up another Baptismal date. When we talked to them on the phone they said that they could not meet us anymore and that Lia will not let her kids read the Book of Mormon ever again. We went and talked to her and she said that the Book of Mormon was racist and that it was man made. She read the part where Laman and Lemuel skin turned dark as a cursing. She read the whole book in one day marking all the "racist" versus. I have never felt so bad, so sad in my life. She was progressing and doing all the things necessary to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. She would not listen to us and said that our whole church was racist and that she could not trust her kids around us. We have done so much service and things for her kids that i really could not believe it. I didn't know what to say. I bore my testimony that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and he loves all his children Black or white, Male or Female, bond or free. She said it was a contradiction to the book that sets us apart from every one else. I told her how much I loved her and her boys and that she would come to an understanding of that in this life or the next and that Heavenly Father love her to. She shut the door and that was it. I did not know what I was suppose to say. It hurt to think that all we have done for her, all the spiritual experiences she has had, she cut it all off because of a misinterpretation of one thing. This is Why a mission is hard. I just need to continue to rely on the Lord and pray for guidance and support and everything will go as planned. I know that we set up a good seed with Lia and she knows how genuine and caring we have been for her. I want all of you to know that The Book of Mormon is another Testament of Jesus Christ and it is the most true book. That you will come closer to Jesus Christ by reading it. I love you all hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and give thanks to all of you. Stay tuned for next week see ya.

Elder Brown

Special Dinner with President Watrous and his wife

Friday, November 26, 2010

Bobi Rush decided she would love to surprise her 2 favorite elders with a one-on-one dinner with the mission president and his wife at her house. She said that Josh was really nervous but he did great!

November 15, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

Family and Friends,

A lot of people are asking me what the weather is like ... ....... When I got to Cali, skies were black and it was raining. It did that for a a couple days probably in the 60's. Then October 27 the Santa Ana winds came in. Hot Air just blew on us first day, 92 degrees. Second day 100 third day 96 degrees. Ya a lot different than Utah. I was on a bike all day with my black back pack. My whole entire shirt was soaked with sweat. So embarrassed going to appointments being drenched. Luckily that just lasted three days and its in the 70's. Best kind of weather. So it has been good. Tuesday I had my first zone conference. We started at 8 am and went until 4 pm. Ya a long time to sit still but it was good. ha ha. Elder Gibbons of the 70's came and talked to us on how we can perfect the missionary work. He has a talk in the October 2009 edition in the Ensign. Spectacular man who knows his stuff. ha ha. Taught us how to use the members more for missionary work and to remind them that they made a covenant to build the kingdom of God. We just have to help them as missionaries to understand and how to do that. I have learned that it is good to be bold and sometimes I think I am too bold with people but its good to stand for what you believe in and let the spirit testify the truth through your words. I learned a lot!!! I had my first exchange on Wednesday Nov. 10 and I went over to the Chinese Elder's Place. I thought with exchanges you just went after all your studies. Actually you sleep there the night before. I was kind of weirded out that another man was going to be sleeping in my bed so we decided to take our sheets and everything. Didn't want his slobber on my pillow you see. ha ha. I went to stay with Elder Kim who is from Korea. He is 23 years old and went to BYU before he left for his mission. Luckily, we got the car so I was able to get a break from the bike. The next day I backed him out and then get in the car. Never seen Elder Kim drive before. I guess he didn't drive that much in Korea or when he was going to school. We get going and HOLY CRAP!!!!!!! It was like a fifteen year old driving a car for the first time getting his learners permit!! Accelerating to fast, braking fast, turning really slow. It was bad! All the unskillful ways of driving. I felt like a Drivers Ed teacher with out any control to brake if needed. We had a GPS and we had to go pick up mail and supplies in Newport beach. We needed to get to the Stake Center on Bonita Canyon right next to the Temple. It's suppose to be a fifteen minute drive and well it takes us thirty minutes. HA. Elder Kim didn't know how to merge over into a lane. He didn't check blind spot or used a blinker. The GPS took us on the freeway for some reason and I seriously saw my life flash before my eyes. Almost got in a accident two or three times. I prayed and thanked the Angels who were on our side. ha. We get off the freeway. Elder Kim laughs and says that was his first time on the freeways. Ha ha. California freeway, first time doesn't know how to drive, cars honking at us flipping us off the whole kaboot!!!!! We finally get there taking many detours. He wouldn't let me drive because he said that he is older and the senior companion and said that he needs to get better. SO I let him and through out the day he did get better. I met a lot of Chinese people, didn't understand anything. ha ha. I got in a bible bash with a born again Christian. I was holding my own. ha ha. Then I saw the spirit wasn't there and I had to testify and then said I had to go and he kept talking so we just left. Ya, so my first exchange is pretty memorable. ha ha. I also have two new people with baptismal dates for December 4 and we had to move back Lia and her kids date back to December 18. So we will have 5 Baptisms before the year is over. Our goal for our mission is to get 600 baptisms in a year. We are at 408 so its going to be a white December folks. Love you all hope all is well!! GOOD DAY!

Elder Brown

Monday, November 8, 2010

November 8, 2010

Family and Friends,

I have been bless to find a family that wants to hear the words and teachings of the Gospel. Lia and her children are open to everything and ask many questions. We taught them twice this last week and taught them about baptism and how important it is and the significance. They understood why we wanted them to be baptized and make those covenants with Heavenly Father. We then taught them the first half of the Plan of Salvation and about Gods plan for us. We taught them about the Atonement and Bobi Rush (our wonderful ward missionary) invited them to church to see why we take the Sacrament. They were so excited we showed them a picture of a congregation in sacrament meeting and Sebastian the 9 year old said "We have to dress like that!" We told them just to wear their nicest clothes and he looks down and says "this is my nicest shirt!' and it was a blue monster shirt so we laughed. We went to different families in the ward to see if they had any clothes that their kids grew out of and the Remington and the Yost family got us some white shirts for this little family. We surprised them Saturday and gave it to them and Lia was so happy and Avaro was to. But Sebastian has a phobia of button up shirts with collars and it being "to tight".(Ha ha that is how I was as a little kid). They came to church the next day and they looked like a happy family besides Sebastian. Lia was fellowshipped and I think she felt safe and had a good time. After we talked to Avaro and he said he loved it and was so happy (he is seven). But Sebastian said they made him sing in primary and started to cry to his mom. So there were ups and down. ha ha. I am just praying that Sebastian will grow to love church. They are our only investigators that are progressing. We have found a lot of potential investigators but its so hard to get a hold of them. Every one is at work all day until 5pm then everyone goes to bed at like 8:00pm in Irvine. So we only have a two hour window to see people on a regular basis. Because we eat Dinner at 5 or 6pm. Let me tell you something, I have had some amazing food. I have been introduced to a lot of new foods. I had Banberry Pie at Poly's Pies and it is now my new favorite dessert! Nothing beats it! It is the best, I want it right now as I speak!!!! I also have been going out to eat at a Restaurant called "Claim Jumper" and oh Boy!!! It is really good but expensive. Let's just say I have been spoiled. I ate dinner at Ali Reza's house and he made Kabobs and Tedic. A Persian cuisine and it was amazing. Tedic means bottom of the bowl. It is basically rice but there is this stuff on the bottom that make it "da BOMB"!! Then I tried Persian Yogurt. Nastiest thing I have eaten here. Lets just say I gagged. Its plain yogurt with cucumber and dill pickles in it and ya, Joshy NO Likey!! I put some on the plate and Ali said "Elder Brown, eat the rest of the food on your plate" I looked down at a huge dollop of that yogurt and a little bit of rice. And I looked up and grinned and said I would love to eat the rest of it and I pounded it down, so ya that has been my experience with Persian foods. We have found a lot of them and they are very interested in learning more about the Church. An experience I had tracting was we went to this one home. We knocked on this house and a Indian woman answered the door. We asked her if she wanted to hear a message of Jesus Christ. She was kind of tentative looking back. Then I see a man in the back ground shewing us with his hand to leave. I asked him whats wrong. Then he pushed, I assume his wife, out of the way and walked onto the porch shutting the door behind him asking what do we want. We told him we were teaching people about Jesus Christ through the Book of Mormon. He looked at us and snatched a Book of Mormon out of Elder Bannister's hand and grabbed it like he was going to rip it then instead tried to steal my Book of Mormon ha ha. Picture this guy trying to steal my precious book and pushing him off me. Then he backed away knowing i would not let him take it and he yelled, "Only Bible and Jesus Christ". We told him that he can have that Book of Mormon and call us if he wants another one. ha ha. Then he started bashing on us. I was getting really mad I was about to say something but Elder Bannister looked at him and said "You know what have a nice day"! We turned and left and I was impressed on how Elder Bannister was able to smother him with Love. HA HA CRAZY Day. I have been riding my bike constantly. I have holes in my pants already from riding it and dogs chasing us down. Makes it an adventure. ha ha. I am having some good experiences. Highs and Lows. This is how time goes on a mission. Elder Bannister and I have a new saying " The days are Long, the weeks are fast, the months are faster, and years don't exist" Ha Ha its true. Just working hard and trying to do our best to find as many people to and invite them to come unto Christ.

Elder Brown

Halloween 2010 Irvine,California

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Yost Family had us over for dinner, carving pumpkins and we gave a lesson as the little tricker treaters came by.
November 1, 2010

Hello Family and Friends,

I have been so busy I hit the pillow at 10:30 and I am out. I have been talking to a lot of wonderful people and not so nice people. ha ha. I have been doing a lot of tracking and have talked to people about their religions. It amazes me how many religions there are. I have met Hindus, Muslims, Jew's, catholic, Buddhist, all different kinds of Christian Churches. I have got to talk to a lot of Muslims and they are very nice and gentle people. They are a lot nicer then people that call themselves Christian. We can't teach them about the gospel unless they come to us because in their country, if they found out they left practicing Muslim, they would be put to death. Another lady we talked to, who was nice, said we needed to read the Bible but we told her about the Book of Mormon. She asked us if we believe in the gift of tongues and we said yes. Then she started to scream making all these weird noises and said she was getting revelation through the gift of tongues. I was scared I thought she was going to pass out and die. Then she told us how she is Mary and that Jesus lives inside her and she was crazy. We explained that through the power of the Holy Ghost we can get revelation through Jesus Christ. Then she said sorry because we believe in the Book of Mormon. She said we look like good young men but said we were going to hell. ha ha. So that was interesting. On a better note I have had the opportunity to meet and teach a man name Ali Reza. He is from Iran and was baptized there in the 70's. When the Revolution happened there he was put into prison for two years and was tortured because he had a testimony of the power of the Book of Mormon. He escaped and has been living here in California as a refugee. He is so enthusiastic about the Book of Mormon its amazing. I can only understand half the things he says but he is awesome. To see his trials and standing up for what he believes in has strengthened my testimony. I was able to teach my first lesson to an investigator. It was a miracle how we contacted her through the power of the Holy Ghost and obedience. We were knocking on doors late on a Saturday night. It was 8:50 and we needed to get home by nine. We were about to leave but my companion and I had a impression to try one more door that was upstairs. We knocked and met Lia and her two kids. She said that we could come back and teach her and her children. We taught her the first lesson about the Restoration and about Joseph Smith and placing a Book of Mormon in her heart. We have been taught to invite people to be baptized and so we did. She said yes and Alvaro is turning eight next month and so we set a date for November 20. Since we followed the prompting of the Holy Ghost and we worked all the way up until 9 we found somebody who would accept the Gospel and I really believe that it was a miracle or a Tender Mercy. I am having a lot of good experiences. The Asians make up about the 1/3 of population and they have their own ward. They are very nice people. Those are some of my experiences thus far. It is hard work but its worth it when you get to sit down and bare your testimony of the truth. Thank you for your letters and all that you do. Make sure when you send letters that you send it to Elder Joshua Brown because there are 4 elder Browns in my mission. There has been a lot confusion. ha I love you guys and hope you are staying close to the teachings of Jesus Christ and reading, pondering, and praying about the Scriptures and especially the Book of Mormon. Love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hope everything I said make sense. ha ha

Elder Brown

On Mon, Oct 25, 2010 at 11:48 AM, Joshua Brown wrote:

Friday, October 29, 2010

This picture of Josh and his companion was taken by a sweet member in Josh's area. It was so fun to get this email from her.

Hello Jamie & Theresa,

I am so blessed to have your amazing sons in my ward that I had to take this picture of them last night. So being a Grammy with a Grandson serving in New Mexico I just have to send this to you. Somehow I think you will be pleased to see their smiles.

Tonight my home and visiting teachers were going to take them to dinner but agreed to have dinner here so that we all could enjoy our evening. What a blessing this was! Since we had leftovers I just took them to your sons.

Truly you both have raised sons that are such a delight to be with. I am very sure that they will bring much joy to our ward as they serve the people here in the Westpark ward.

If there is anything I can do for you just let me know. I live close to them and love being able to help where I can.

Bobi Rush

MY TWO ROOMIES! Elder Kato & Elder Schwenke

My cool district. My MTC companion is Elder Long from Ogden,Utah. He is center of picture with the spiral in back of his head.

My District in the MTC

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I'm so excited to finally get this blogspot for Josh. I will post weekly letters and pictures. Here is his first letter since he arrived in California.

October 25, 2010

Family and Friends,

I got off the airplane on Oct. 19. I was expecting Sunshine but it was really long walks in the rain. ha ha. I thought that it was going to be better than Utah but I guess our district brought rain ha. I met President and sister Waltrous and they are amazing sweet people. You can tell they are into missionary work. President Waltrous has a good sense of humor. We all got to the mission home and learned about the mission and we just had an interview with the President to get to know us. After, all the trainers came and we had lunch. That was good I didn't eat any breakfast ha ha. President Waltrous is very strict with a sense of humor. Holly Crap he is WAY STRICT!!!!!!!!! Everything I thought I could do I couldn't basically. My head hurts with so many rules its ridiculous. I thought to myself am i going to be a 100% obedient or am I going to be partially obedient and kind of Bend the rules. I decided right then and there. While I am serving The Lord I am going to be a hundred percent no exceptions obedient. I will be a successfull missionary if I do That. Also all mail goes to the mission office at 2500 North Bristol St. Santa Ana CA 92706. The Zone Leaders get the mail on Monday and give it to us on Wednesday at district meeting. So plan accordingly. One of the rules. ha ha After they assigned us our area and who our trainers are. My companions name is Elder Bannister from Pocatello Idaho. He has been out for a year and is bilingual Spanish speaking. We have the same exact birthday but one year apart. He is very obedient and works hard and he is awesome. We got called to Irvine (the most southern part of the mission) West park Ward. Its a biking mission and we are white washing it because Elder Bannister was in the Fullerton area first. So we have no clue what the area is like and don't know any of out investigators and we have no bikes. ha ha already had trials. So we got dropped off and I didn't even unpack we went straight to work. We open the area book and wrote down people we need to get to know investigators and less active members. Then we went tracking at 7:30 it was kind of freaky but Irvine has one of the lowest crime rates in California. It was so weird knocking on people doors and seeing who was opening it. I saw people from all over the world just in that one night. Koreans, Persian, Indians, Chinese people and white. So it was interesting to see all the different cultures. Irvine has mostly Asian people probably 60%. I knocked on this door that was cracked open and I got hit by a wall of smoke. Felt like I was drowning and this guy was totally "hot boxing" his house and we talked about the Book of Mormon and he said he was not interested and we left and i felt very different ha ha. That was crazy seems like every where we go in California it smells like that ha ha. then we came to a door with this lady who only spoke Spanish so my companion talked to her and she accepted for the Spanish Elders to come by and teach her so first night we got a potential investigator even though she was out of our jurisdiction. It was crazy to me to be in California teaching the Gospel. We traveled with the Chinese speaking Elders to go to district meeting the next day and all the Elders are very welcoming. We were able to meet up with one of the members of the ward who is a biking family the Kimball's and they are lending Elder Bannister and I a bike until we find out what we are going to do so I am very thankful for them and how nice they are to us. We met a less active family of a part member family and its amazing what situation families are in and having them tell us as 19 and 20 year old men is kind of weird. There was things i did not want to hear but as a representative of Jesus Christ I needed to help them and get their family to become happy and live the Gospel. After we tried to contact some investigators on Ibiza Aisle but they were not home and we went tracking again and we knocked on a 21 year old female who took our message well and wanted to read the Book of Mormon. I was really excited when she said "Now I have something to read at night." So we set up an appointment to teach her which was awesome. she thought we were 17 years old so that was kind of interesting when we told her we were 19 and 20 years old ha ha. But we have to give her information to the single ward elders because she is out of our jurisdiction also. The rest of the week after Wednesday has been tough. I have accidentally breaking rules with out even knowing. A member stopped me on a bike and gave me a 20 and said you elders get lunch on me. I took it and showed Elder Bannister and I guess we weren't suppose to take money so I did and we put it into fast offering ha ha. Also we have to wear church clothes on p-days and that's pretty frustrating also. ha ha. But I know that if I will be obedient to all the rules I will be bless and the lord will provide a way for me to help people come unto Christ. We met a mother of two children who also wanted to come and teach her kids so we are finding a lot of investigators and I am excited to teach them this upcoming week. I am doing well trying to lose myself in the work love you all.