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.

Enduring to the End

Monday, October 1, 2012

Family and Friends,
   I can't believe the time has come!  Honestly, it hasn't hit me until I just read all the emails from my family that talked about coming home tomorrow.  I have so many emotions going on right now that I can't describe.  Excited, anxious, depressed, happy, are just to name a few.  I am sad that this amazing experience of a mission is ending.  Having said that I am excited to take on the world and do the things the Lord would have me do as a member missionary.  My mission experience has been very sacred to me.  I have been able to really understand what it means to have a relationship with my God.   There have been so many times on my mission that I have experienced denial, rejection, persecution, hatred, and many people mis-understanding of what our purpose is as missionaries.  At all these times of rejection,  I have had to find ways to help myself get motivated to continue forward and press on.  The only way that I could get through that was relying on my Heavenly Father to get through the tough times, to receive that extra boost of energy.  To have that extra ounce of charity towards that individual that just cussed me out.  To be able to have the ability to have the spiritual eyes that Christ has.  To act as a representative of him.  Prayer has been a huge and important factor of gaining that relationship and understanding of that.  Then, I realized that they are not persecuting for Elder Josh Brown's sake.  They are persecuting the majestic individual Jesus Christ who did the most important act in eternal history by fulfilling the Atonement so that we can  come back to live with our Father in Heaven.  He too was persecuted, judged and killed by the world.  He suffered it because  he loved us.  So I count it a honor and a blessing to have the experiences I have had on my mission, good and bad, in the name of my Savior Jesus Christ.
   I had an amazing experience of prayer and fasting.  I really desired going out with a bang.  I wanted to do the things that the Lord would have me do in the Irvine Westpark Ward.  I prayed to heavenly Father that we would find somebody to teach and bless their lives for the better.  Sunday night was my last chance, my last push to endure to the end.  I was running full force going door to door.   Knowing my time was limited.  After dinner we went to a apartment complex.  It was 7 a clock and for some reason a ton of apartments were dark and nobody was home.  We still exercised faith in finding that one person that last individual that Elder Wood and I could touch and bless.  Around 8 a clock we knock on this door.  A little child answered the door.  We asked him if his father was home.  He opened the door wider and looks back.  His father was laying on the bed yelling, "what do we want".  We told him that we are representatives of Jesus Christ and are sharing a message about him.  He kind of waved his hand at us and said He already knows about Jesus and doesn't need to learn more about him.  Elder Wood then said that more scripture has been revealed about the Savior and his dealings with the ancient American people.  It caught his attention.  He said "I am really sick but please come in and share".  We found out that he has been sick for the past two weeks. We go in and teach about how we got the Book of Mormon and shared the Restoration.  He believed every ounce of it.  He said that he has been looking for answers and he had almost given up hope.  He accepted to read the Book of Mormon, to come to church with his family, and also to be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God.  It was a miracle!  He was so prepared for this message.  The most prepared individual I have ever met on my mission.  He just thanked us so much.  As we closed with a prayer I received a prompting from the spirit.  Feeling bold I said , "Jeff, as representatives of Jesus Christ we hold the Priesthood authority of God.  As part of the restored church of Jesus Christ we hold the authority to heal the sick and afflicted.  Just like the apostles of old.  Do you have faith sufficient to be healed?  He said, " I do".  I said, "We would love to give you a priesthood blessing to heal you of your sickness". Elder Wood and I had the opportunity to give him a priesthood blessing.  God sent us to Jeff!  He knows all his children and answers their prayers.  He answered mine and Jeff's in one experience.  I was flying high as a kite with the spirit when I left his apartment.  Satisfied with my offering to the Lord in enduring to the end.  I thank my Heavenly Father for the blessing of ending my mission like that.  I will always remember that experience.  I am sad that this is ending, I love being a missionary.  I Love you all and appreciate all of you that enjoyed this journey with me by reading my blogs.  I am going to miss this but I am excited to see my family and enter into the next chapter of my life.
(3 John 1:13-14)
Elder Brown

Elder Brown's 21st Birthday Party.......Thanks Bobi so much!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Happy 21st Birthday Elder Brown......

Monday, September 24, 2012

Hi, this is Elder Brown's mom.  It is hard to believe that Elder Brown (Josh) will be coming home next Tuesday, October 2nd.  He will be flying into the Salt Lake City Airport at around 1:00pm.   As a family, we could not be more excited.  We have missed him so much!  We are busy making posters, buying yellow ribbon and ordering yellow balloons to decorate for his arrival.   Today, Josh officially turned 21 years old.  Having a P-day on your birthday was great.  He said that he was so busy responding to all the birthday wishes that he did not have enough time to write his weekly blog.   But he told me he did a little grocery shopping and bought Steaks to celebrate.  He and his companion ate them for lunch.  He went to Bobi's  (a member in his ward and family friend) house for a birthday dinner! Thank you to all the members in the Anaheim, California mission who loved my son and treated him like their own!   He said it has been a great birthday and we can't wait for him to have a big birthday celebration with us when he gets home. Josh said he will write his FINAL blog next Monday and express some of his feelings of what his mission has meant to him these last couple of years.  

His homecoming talk will be Sunday, October 21st at 1:00pm.  The address is 9600 North and 6000 West in Highland.  (Just a block from our home).  Please join us for lunch after!

Octopus soup, Yum!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Family and Friends,
   This week was crazy busy!  I had exchanges with both the Vietnamese and Korean Elders,  we had zone conference, and we got a new set of missionaries in our ward serving with us. 
    I was able to go on exchanges with Elder Leonard from Mobile, Alabama!  We had a good time in Westminster finding Vietnamese people.  I had a cool experience with one of the gifts of the spirit.  We were going to talk to a potential when we see a Vietnamese guy sweeping his drive way.  So I go up and wave smiling.  He smiled back and Elder Leonard started speaking with him.  As they are talking I was able to have an idea of what they were talking about.  As they are just talking I have just this huge grin on my face.  He then turns to me and says something as if he was asking a question.  I felt prompted that he was asking me what my name was.  So I told him I was Elder Brown.  He had a hard time pronouncing my name but bowed as he said my name. It is out of respect to do that.  After Elder Leonard told me that he was shocked that I was able to answer him.  I said yep the Lord blessed me with interpretation of tongues for that short visit that was a very joyful experience.  I had a great time with Elder Leonard.  He is a great missionary that is learning a very hard language. 
   We had zone conference this last week and it was amazing!   I had the opportunity to go up to Yorba Linda (my old ward) and do service for them.  Our whole mission painted fences off of horse trails for the community and it was a great experience.  It was cool to have service as part of our zone conference.  We did that all morning.  We then gathered together in the Bryan building in Irvine and finished the rest of the zone conference.  I love when Sister Bowen and President Bowen speaks to us.  They are so knowledgeable and spiritual.  They speak with such power that always lifts you and encourages you.  It rejuvenated my spirit to hit the pavement and continue to work hard and look for the truth seekers.  As I was pondering on this, President asked for all the departing missionaries to come and bear their testimony for the end of the Conference.  He then says my name.  I could not believe that this was my last zone conference.  It is a tradition that all the departing missionaries bear their testimonies at the end.  I totally forgot that this was my last zone conference.  So I was able to bear my testimony and it was a good spiritual experience.  I know without of a doubt my testimony has grown leaps and bounds more then when I first came out.  I was grateful for the opportunity but shocked that it is the very end of the middle of my mission.
    I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with the Korean Elders.  I went to North Korea with Elder Kim and a brand new missionary Elder Cook.  I was able to spend the day with them and teach a lot.  It was hard because Elder Cook and I had no clue what was being said.  It was by far the hottest day of my mission hitting 110 in Garden Grove.  I just sat there baking in an apartment with no A/C.  I prayed for the investigator we were teaching to accept the Gospel and also that I will not die of heat stroke. haha.  We were able to have authentic Korean food and it was very interesting.  I had a lot of Kim chi which is fermented cabbage, zucchini, horse raddish, any other vegetable that can be fermented.  I like the Kim chi cucumber but that is about it.  We also had this sea food soup.  For some reason I was the only one that got a huge octopus with gigantic sucking cups.  I was like there is no way I can eat that.  I decide to just try one of the tentacles then I just tapped out and apologized that I could not eat it.  They rewarded my with some concord grapes that were delicious though.  We were able to get a family to church that we taught and they are progressing wonderfully.  Korean Elders are on fire and I love them very much!
    We were able to get Natalie one of our investigators enrolled into seminary which is great.  She will now have the opportunity to be fed spiritually before she goes off to school.  Her testimony is going to grow into a huge tree until she can be baptized when she is 18.  She is amazing!  She has a lot of courage and determination to follow her heart.  We had some step backs with our investigators but I know that the Lord is the master and he is preparing their hearts to accept the Gospel. 
  Have a great week.  I know that I am.
Elder Brown

Recognizing the Spirit

Monday, September 10, 2012

Family and Friends,
   This week was crazy and tiring!  I had so many crazy experiences and things that I am not able to really discuss them.  All I can say is that I am tired and the work is true. haha.  Elder Wood and I had a lot of opportunities to exercises our faith.  We went out and talked to every one followed the spirit and every thing.  It was just not our week numbers wise. A lot of our investigators got busy with school starting this week and every one is running hundred miles an hour.  Saying they have no time for God and spiritual things.  Wo wo unto them. Ha ha. We were able to have a lot of spiritual messages with individuals and it was great.  I was able to feel the spirit do its magic.  We had the opportunity to be trained by the assistants what we are focusing on this month as a mission.  It is exactly what I have talked about!  Recognizing the spirit in Ch. 4 of Preach my Gospel.  We then have one companionship study to teach our zone of 16 missionaries the importance of the spirit.  Every time I feel like we are not as prepared as I would like.  The Lord really has our back and gave us the words we needed to say to get our message across.  It was amazing to feel the promptings of the Holy Ghost on what to say and what to do.  I was chastised by the spirit that there were some things I needed to work on to be a more powerful missionary.   We read D&C 121 about the Priesthood how it is only performed through righteousness.  If we do anything that is carnal, low or cheap, we can say goodbye to the priesthood or the authority of that man.  I believe that we have the best missionaries in the mission in our zone.   I don't have to worry about any of them whether or not they are doing the work.  We just talked about ways that we can sanctify ourselves more fully.  It isn't going to be anything big.  Just little things that will give us more power and authority in our teaching.  We will receive a greater adage of the spirit.  (EX. Getting out of bed on time, keeping our conversations on missionary work, getting to studies on time, etc.)   I know the Elders will do the things necessary to take it to the next level.  Our zone will be lifted to a whole new playing field. 
   Crazy stuff.  Well I will let you know some more stuff that happened when I get home because I would be here for hours if I wrote every thing.  Tune in next time
Elder Brown

Excited to Hit the Pavement!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Family and Friends,

   This week started off really good.  We were teaching a lot.  We were able to get right in a door.  We met a man by the name of John who is a Presbyterian head usher.  He loves us Mormons he told us.  We are the ultimate examples of a Christ-like people.  He tried to talk to us about how amazing Mitt Romney was and how he is trying to get his whole congregation to vote for him.  It was really funny.  He is just an awesome old man.  We had to let him know that the church is neutral in politics and that we had no clue what is going on with the election.  We were able to share the Book of Mormon with him and invited him to read.  We found out a member already gave him a book and that he has read first Nephi.  I was so happy.  He says he loves Mormons and he knows the Book of Mormon is true but he has always been going to the Presbyterian church and he will stay.  Really nice man that is a good voice for LDS members outside of the faith. 
    We were able have a great lesson with Cathy.  She has been having a lot of trials in her life.  We were able to bring a great couple from the ward with us and we were able to teach the whole Plan of Salvation in one sitting.  That is a miracle in itself.  Her only concern was the degrees of glory.  She didn't really comprehend that.  She feels like they are elevators going up and down.  We were able to solve that concern.  She is so ready and prepared.  She doesn't even know it.  We need to teach her a couple more lessons.  Her baptismal date is going to be pushed back a little bit.  Hopefully she will be ready in the near future. 
   This next part was a miracle.  We knocked into this kid that looked like he was our age named Justin.  He is a very strong kid and buff.  We asked him how old he was and he said he was 16.  I was like, "really?"  He told us that he is Catholic and goes to Mater Dei high school.  I was like awesome that was in my last area in Santa Ana.  So we got talking and found out he plays football and is a middle linebacker there.  So imagine this kid and how huge he was.  We asked him if we could share our message.  He said sure.  He feels like he doesn't get too many spiritual experiences because he rarely goes to church and just hears stuff from school.    We started teaching him the Restoration.  He is one of the most humble kids I know.  He was starving spiritually.   He believed all our words.  The spirit was so strong.  We shared the first vision that Joseph Smith had.  We asked him how he felt about it.  He said that he could believe it.  We invited him to read the Book of Mormon.  He accepted.  The way he answered our questions was with so much humility I know that he is a truth seeker.  He is going to read and come to know for himself that the Book of Mormong is true.  He said that he would love to get baptized when he knows for himself that these things are true.  So we were really excited. 
    From that day on we had a lot of appointments fall through and investigators not come to church.  Got a lot of doors slammed on us.  Some guy got in my face wanting to fight.  Knocking 15 doors nobody answering.  Things that make you discouraged.  We were able to get pass that.  Good things are going to happen and the adversary doesn't want it to happen.  Excited to hit the pavement this upcoming week to reap!
Elder Brown

The Lord's Will!

Monday, August 27, 2012

  This week was crazy!  A ton of ups and downs.  It was an emotional roller coaster this week haha.  There is so much stuff that it is just too complicated to talk about or try to explain.  I actually think that I could write a novel on this week alone on my mission.  I was able to figure out the will of Heavenly Father and go forward with it even though I had a different idea that satisfied my selfish demands.  So I am going to explain briefly the things that happened this week.
    We will start of with Joy.  She is a single mother that has had a lot of trials in her life.  I was able to talk about her in my last post.  Well,  we had some amazing spiritual lessons that bore witness to her that she needs to get baptized.  She knows that is what she needs to do and she just needs to do it.  Well, we were able to schedule a date for August 31.  She was so excited and ready.  We were teaching her every other day.  We talked about baptism again and asked her if there is anything that could be getting in the way of her getting baptized.  She expressed her situation with her daughters not approving her faith and what she believes.  She wants them to be a part of her baptism and celebrate it with her.  They are so against it.  She explained that she has the mommy extincts.  How her kids are always first.  That she will not do anything for herself until her kids needs are taken care of.  She believes that she is being selfish being baptized before her kids.  We understand that she feels that way.  We talked about how Jesus Christ was baptized to be an example unto us and to show us the way.  We promised her that she will be that example to her family.  That her kids will have more of an opportunity to accept the Gospel with her being a baptized member with the gift of the Holy Ghost rather then her not being baptized.  The spirit testified what we said was true.  She said that she is still planning on it.  So excited we call the Bishop and let him know and get people ready to support her on this great day.  Flying high as a kite the next day we are in a lesson and I get a text from Joy.  She told us not to panic but she prayed and feels like the 31st of August is not the right time for her to be baptized.  That she wants her kids to be more accepting and be at the baptism and support her.  I went from seeing rainbows and flowers to getting knocked out by Brian Urlacher (linebacker for Chicago Bears).  I was so frustrated.  We did everything we could!  Feeling like a failure we go home to finish weekly planning.  I check in with my Heavenly Father to let him know the event that transpired.  I was able to bring my will to his and felt an assurance that her time is not yet.  That we need to be patient to her needs and just have charity for her.  So I was able to be comforted that it was the will of the Lord and that she will get baptized at a later date.  I don't know if it will be while I am here or not but no matter what she will enter into the waters of baptism.  That is all that matters!
    We were able to get another investigator to progress tremendously this week.  We were able to get Natalie to keep the Word of Wisdom which she has been already been doing for two weeks.  She was able to go to her friends baptism that she knew since kindergarten.  She came to church for the first time staying all three hours!  She loved Young Womens.  She loves everything about the church and feels very confident that she is going to be entering in the water of baptism in the near future! 
   Busy as ever! There is no other way I would like it!
Elder Brown

My New Companion!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Elder Wood from Centerville, Utah

Surprise! Surprise!

Family and Friends,
   Well this week was absolutely crazy!  A lot of surprises!  We were able to meet with an investigator named Joy!  She is absolutly amazing.  Through out her life she has had experiences with the church.   She was almost baptized when she was 14 and then later at 21.  But now 20 years later she is really wanting it.  She has had 2 baptismal dates in the past 4 months but it kept falling through.  She has had some big struggles and trials in the last couple months.  She has been able to really rely on the Lord to deliver her from these tough circumstances and trials.  After she came to church we went over to her house and taught her.  She was able to follow through with her commitments of reading the Book of Mormon.  We talked about baptism with her and what she thinks about it.  She told us that she was ready.  She said prior to this point she always felt that she was not good enough to be baptized.  She always hoped she could be a good person with good standards.  She was able to realize that her faith is growing as she has been reading the Book of Mormon.  That she is becoming that person and that is who she is.  She is yearning for baptism to show Heavenly Father she is willing to stand as witness of Jesus Christ.  We invited her to pray to Heavenly father and ask him what date she should schedule to be baptized.  She accepted!  We are really excited for her! Elder Johnson and I were able to see so many miracles!  It is absolutly amazing! 
   Well this next part is pretty crazy.  We were able to have interviews with President Bowen and everything was great.   We had a good time. Transfers were coming up and he told Elder Johnson and I that we are going to stay together.  So it was kind of nice that we were not going to have to worry about transfer calls.  Well the unexpected happen!  President Bowen recieved further revelation and decided to transfer Elder Johnson out up to Fullerton as a Zone leader in the singles ward.  I am going to be with Elder Wood from Centerville  Utah. He is the Bomb!  I was so shocked. When we got the transfer call we thought Elder Sumsion (the AP) was just messing with us.  Then we found he was serious!  So it was pretty crazy.  Elder Wood has never been a zone Leader so now I have to show him the ropes.  I feel a little bit inadequate but I know the Lord will provide a way.  I am loving my mission and I can't believe this is my 17th transfer.  There are going to be amazing miracles in the next couple weeks I can't wait to tell you all of them! 
Elder Brown

The Work is Real!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Family and Friends,
  This week was amazing!  The Lord is blessing me and my companion here in the Westpark ward.  I want to talk about one of our investigators Natalie.  She is so ready to be baptized but her mom didn't know that she was meeting with us.  We knew that she could not progress anymore unless she told her parents.  We went through the ten commandments and the 5th commandment is to honor your father and mother.  We told her that the only way she can progress and come closer to be baptized is by honoring her parents by telling them what she knew to be true and wants to do.  She got emotional.  She is such a sweet spirit that would do anything to make every one happy.  She knows that telling her mom that she has been meeting with us would disappoint her.  We prayed for her and she told her right after she met with us.  She texted us and said the reaction was bitter sweet.  That her mom is disappointed she is looking into another church from the one she grew up in.  Sweet part is that she will not stop her from meeting with us.  So we are really excited about that because now we can truly work for baptism with her.  Little by little, precept upon precept.  Little miracles every where.
   So this week we had a lot of people scheduled with appointments and of course they all got cancelled.  So Elder Johnson did so much finding.  We contacted a lot of people each day. But nobody was interested.  We reached a goal of having 30 solid contacts in one day and we got it but none of them were even potentials.  I just think that is just how the cookie crumbles.  Well, yesterday on Sunday, miracles happened.  We were able to schedule appointments with some potentials in the area book.  One was with this family that is from Indonesia.  Culture there is that every one in the family has different last names.  So we just call them the Indonesian family.  Very humble and sweet all of them.  They had us come in and share our message with them.  We focused every principle on the restoration of the family and how the gospel blesses the family so much.  They have a christian background and go to Saddleback Church.  It is a huge church down here in orange county that every one goes too.  We were able to bear testimony about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.  You could see the excitement and curiosity from the mom Lorita.  She has a little bit of broken English but she is sincerely looking.  They accepted to do the things necessary to find out if the Book of Mormon is true.  We were able to set up another appointment.  The Lord blessed us with a new family to teach which I am so grateful.  We then went to another individuals house name Sophia.  She is Korean and speaks very good English.  She was wearing a Utah State t-shirt as she just got back from Utah for business.  She is Christian and had a lot of amazing questions that are questions of the soul.  We had the opportunity to share with her what the Book of Mormon was to her and her son Justin.  She was so excited to hear that all the questions she has (what happens to us after we die?, What do we have to do to be saved?)  are in the Book of Mormon.  As prophets have testified of these things that the words they say are true.  We were able to testify that we know that they are true by the Promise Moroni gives us in end of the Book of Mormon Moroni 10:4-5.  We were able to get a return appointment to answer more of the questions she has.  I didn't do anything different from Monday to Sunday.  I know that Lord is going to bless me according to his timing and will.  He was testing Elder Johnson and I if we were going to work hard through out the week.  He blessed us with 5 new investigators in one day more then I have ever gotten in a week on my mission.  This work is real!  The lord is preparing many to hear and accept this Gospel and I am so grateful that I am worthy and able to be the instrument in his hands to bring about his righteous purposes. 
I love you all! Mission Life is the life, serving and doing the things what Christ would do if he were here.
Elder Brown

Miracles have not ceased!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Family and friends,

  This week was really fun a lot of good things happened.  We were
able to finally get a hold of some investigators that we have not been
able to meet with for a couple weeks.  We were able to teach Cathy a
wonderful lady that is married to a member.  We are working on her
testimony of the Book of Mormon and committed her to read it every day
with her husband.  She accepted and was really excited to do that.  We
are really excited as she came to church with us this Sunday.
 Last week we were riding our bikes down Paseo Westpark and we made 
goal that we would talk to everyone that we see.  We see this chinese
lady walking her dog on the sidewalk.  So we stop her and tell her
who we are.  We explained that our message is centered on Jesus
Christ.  We got her name and it is Rachel and she is from China.  She
said she would love to meet with us and learn about God.  Well we
called her up and she showed up to an appointment at the church!  I
was so happy!  That is very rare to get a lesson out of street
contacting.  She grew up in china and was taught that there is no such
thing as God.  We helped her understand the nature of God.  How he
created and loves us.  We shared the Restoration.  I have never
taught a lesson to someone that has zero religious back ground.  The
spirit was so strong.  The First vision proved to be powerful like it
always is.  We asked her how she felt.  She said, "I believe its true".
It was a great lesson.  We were able to pass her to the Mandarin
Elders as she speaks better Chinese then English.  She is going to get
baptized.  We exercised our faith in finding and the Lord literaly put
some one in our path.  I was able to go on exchanges with Elder
Leonard.  He is the funniest kid ever.  So he is from Mobile, Alabama,
but he grew up in England for most his life.  He is speaking
Vietnamese in the Vietnamese branch.  So a Southerner speaking
Vietnamese in a British accent.  Pretty sweet!!! haha.  I love this
Elder we had a good time.  I was there for their English class they
had for all vietnamese people in Garden Grove.  I was amazed at how
big the classes were.  They have 70 students and there are 4 Elders in
their young 20's teaching these huge classes.   That is a lot of
responsibility.  So I had a good time attempting to teach all these
people English.  It was crazy fun.  Helped them pronounce words, it was
a great experience.   I am amazed at how many vietnamese people are
here in Garden Grove!  It is like little Saigon.  The rest of the day
we were in the Long beach mission finding vietnamese investigators. 
 It is so weird to leave the mission.  I had a great time.  Missionary work in
different languages is totally different then english.
 It was a great week, really enjoyed serving the Lord.  It went by so
fast.  Miracles have not ceased my friends.  Press forward with
steadfastness in Christ and see the blessings shower upon you.

Elder Brown

Anaheim Angels!

Monday, July 30, 2012

My Sweet Companion......

Chillin in Calif......

Making Things Count!

Family and Friends,

     This week was really good.  Everything did not go as planned but it was still a good week.  We were able to teach Christine once again.  We taught her the first half of the Plan of Salvation focusing on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The lesson was very powerful.  We were able to help her recognize the blessings the Lord has brought to her through out her life.  She was really excited to come to church and everything.  We set a baptismal date for August 25th and she accepted it.  Sadly,  we got a member over to her house and everything to pick her up for church and she was not home.  So that was a bummer.  We know that the Lord is in control and things happen for a reason. 
    I went on exchanges on Thursday with Elder Song from Korea.  We had such a good time.  He was teaching me Korean as I was helping him enunciate english words.  He is a great kid very eager to learn and is super smart.  Those Koreans are crazy smart!   We were able to teach Natalie who is the most bright 16 year old girl I have ever met.  So she just wants to be LDS so bad but her parents don't even know that she has a desire.  We taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ and how important baptism is by someone holding the priesthood authority of God.  The spirit testified that she needs to get baptized.   Elder Song was able to bear his testimony about how his father is not a member.  How his dad did not want him to go on a mission.  Elder song prayed and a year later he received the okay from his father.  Even though he was way against it before.  It helped Natalie so much.  She said that she is going to tell her parents in the next week.  Let them know her testimony and her desire to be baptized.  She is like a modern day pioneer whose faith is so strong and is willing to do anything to follow Jesus Christ.  She is so prepared.  We are praying for her parents hearts to be softened.  It is going to be amazing. 
   I went on exchanges once again but this time I went into the Mandarin branch.   Oh ya!  Learned some Chinese!  quadruple lingo!!! haha.   I had so much fun.  I was able to be with Elder Winters who is amazing.  He is like one of my favorite Elders ever.   He is from Atlanta Georgia, he went to a year of BYU and is an amazing cook!  He made me this Chinese pancake with a huge egg on it.  It is called something but I forgot.  It tasted amazing.  I then was able to eat some amazing Kim chi rice.  it was so good.  Best food ever!  We went to go teach Cindy who is from Taiwan and it was a cool experience.  Chinese/Taiwanese people are so nice.  They got me some tapioca bolba stuff that tasted really interesting.  They said it was frog eggs to try to knock me off my rocker but I called their bluff.  It was too good for it to be frog eggs.  Spirit was really strong as Elder Winters taught.  Even though I had no clue what they are talking about.  It was cool to see and feel that.  Through out the day we were just trying to find Chinese people and it is interesting how a lot of them don't believe there is a God.  We just humbly bore testimony that there is a God and we are his children and he loves us very much.
   We did a lot of busy work this week. but it is great because it gets me that much more excited to go out and talk to everyone.  I am having a great time! Making things count!

Elder Brown

The Lord Will Provide A Way!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Family and Friends,
   Well, this week was amazing!  We were not able to teach as much as we would have liked but the Lord has blessed us tremedously.  We were able to teach an investigator I found when I was being trained here.  Her name is Christine.  She is awesome.  She has been on and off with the missionaries through out her whole life.  She is looking for the truth but she just doesn't know where to find it.  We had our first real traditional lesson this week and we were able to explain our purpose as missionaries.  She understood what we expect from her that she is working towards baptism by reading the scriptures and praying to know if this is true.  She said that she has a desire to know.  She knows that she will have to put some effort in on her part and she said she is willing to do that.  So we are really excited for her.  She has a baptismal date and we are going to see a very cool transformation process with her. 
   The second indivual I want to talk about is Ali Reza.  I love Ali as I was able to work with him when I got here almost two years ago.  The only difference is now I see him as an investigator instead of a less active.  He was baptized in Iran in the early 70's when he was in his teens.  He went through a lot trials because of his faith in the Book of Mormon with the revolution and everything there.  He is a great man with a great heart.  The problem is that we cannot find his records.  So he needs to be baptized again.  Well, he doesn't want to get baptized again because he already made a covenant with God.  Well,  we had a lesson with him this past week and it was amazing.  As I was pondering about what we could share with him to help him get rebaptized I found a scripture in the Doctorine & Covenants Section 22 which talks about baptism.  People were baptized before the church was organized in 1830.  The Lord commanded that they should be baptized again into the Church of Jesus Christ.  That it is a new and everlasting covenant.  We showed him that scripture and right away his heart softened.  He said "Elder Brown, that is truth!  I will get baptized next Sunday."  He had a big smile on his face.  I was surprised how easy it was.  All that had to happen was the spirit  had to touch his heart.  We decided to push his baptismal date a little bit farther back so he can make it.  His date is for August 19th.  I love Ali!
   So this transfer our mission is focusing on goals.  The importance of goals and how through goals we can fulfill our purpose.  Elder Johnson and I are trying really hard to reach our goals but they are sure making us stretch.  Goals make us realize that some things are out of your control but that the Lord can help you reach them (all you need to do is ask).  On Sunday we were no where close to reaching any of our goals.  I went through them that morning asking Heavenly Father to guide us and help us reach this goal that we have set by the spirit.  We went out knocking and following up with potential investigators.  Well, we were able to schedule two appointments with some potentials that are very solid.  Each time I would pray to Heavenly father in my heart thanking him for blessing us so much.  The night was coming to an end and we go contact this potential in the area book that we had no clue about.  We meet this guy named Jeff.  We tell Jeff our purpose as missionaries.  How our message is centered in Jesus Christ.  He lets us right into his home and we shared the Restoration to him and his wife Jacky.  They were on the edge of their seats and accepted to read and pray about the Book of Mormon.  This spirit was so strong.  We reached our goal of finding 3 new investigators this week and it is because the Lord knew how bad we wanted to reach our goal, he granted it and provided a way. 
Elder Brown

Busy, Busy, and really Busy!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Family & Friends,

 It is very nice to be back in my first area that I love! Elder Johnson and I are in a car because we have to do a lot of driving (We are over the Irvine/Asian Zone). But, we still have the same size area as when I came into the mission. So we bought a bike rack and have been biking in the area and we just use the car to get around the mission. It has been great being part of both worlds! First day on bike it was in the 90's and I absolutely loved it. It feels like I never left Irvine Westpark ward.

 We actually have a lot of good work going along. We have had a lot of miracles with referrals, part member families and member referrals. We have way more people that we are teaching then I did when Elder Bannister and I white washed the area over a year and a half ago. All I did when I was here was go tracting but Elder Johnson and I are going to use our time more wisely. I have been able to visit former investigators that we taught when I was here and schedule appointments with them. They all remember me so we are going to see a lot of miracles. Elder Johnson and I are really pumped. This week was crazy because it was transfer week. So we had to do a lot of crazy busy work. Driving Elders around, doing Stake reports, tons of meetings but we were able to get through it. We weren't able to get as much missionary work in as I would have liked but we had a lot of good things happen. 

We have this investigator named Jimmy. He is a Persian 15 year old kid that just moved in a month and a half ago. He walked to the church one day and said that he wanted to learn more about the church. His family situation is really interesting as both his parents and his twin brother are Atheist. He wants to get baptized but he is scared to tell his parents because they will stop the meetings that he has with us. He has tremendous faith and we were able to help him feel and recognize the Holy Ghost and it was just amazing.

 It was so fun going to church and being able to see all my favorite families in the ward. Bishop Yost surprised me by calling me up to bear my testimony right in between the talks. The ward has changed a lot but there are still a lot of great families that are here. Great week went by really really fast. Having a blast have a good one.

 Elder Brown

I'm Back to Where I Started!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Family and Friends,
   TALOFA!   Some Crazy, Crazy, Crazy stuff happened over the week.  haha.  It was an awesome week!  I was able to teach a lot of lessons.  We were finally able to get a hold of one of our investigators Sal!  He is 18 and totally great.  His family are devote Catholics.  They have been telling us that he hasn't been home when he really has.  So we were able to teach him while I was on exchanges with Elder Liebrum.  We followed up with him on how his reading was going and he said that he read about six chapters but his Book of Mormon disappeared.    We were able to go teach him the Plan of Salvation.  Through out the whole lesson he asked some great questions.  After we gave him the pamphlet to go over.  He then told us that he already believes that this is all true.  We are like really?... He told us that a girl in his class gave him that same pamphlet.  She was reading it and he asked her what she was reading.  She said that she is reading about Jesus Christ.  She then asked, "do you want to read one of these and learn about Jesus Christ?"  He was like sure.  He read it and believed it.  That was like a year and a half ago and he has never seen her ever again.  Right there you can see the Lord's hand.  This shows the power that comes when we do member missionary work.  That had a profound effect on him that allowed him to accept the Gospel.  He is a great kid and is going to get baptized July 21.  He couldn't find his Book of Mormon the first time.  He said it was somewhere.  The second time we visited him his mom took the Book of Mormon and wouldn't give it to him.  She doesn't like us too much.  I know that the Lord will provide some ways for her heart to be softened.  
   Well, transfers came and I got released as district Leader.  I was so happy for the opportunity to serve my district and get to know the Elders and Sisters that were in it.  I had a great time teaching.  I remember I was so nervous teaching District Meeting the first time and now I love it.  I am not going to lie, I am going to miss it but the Lord has other plans for me.  I received my area call and found out who my companions is.  It is Elder Johnson from Akron Ohio.  He is a cool dude.  We were in the same zone for a couple transfers when I was in Anaheim 10th ward.  This next part is CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I am going back to my GREENY AREA!!!!!!  The area that I was trained!  The Westpark Ward, IRVINE.   I  am so excited.  I am right now in the building where I first started my mission.  I am so pumped!  I am going to visit all my past investigators that didn't get baptized and going to baptize them.  Right now Elder Johnson just picked an investigator in formers that Elder Bannister and I tracted into.  I am so excited.  I have some unfinished business!  Also, I get to say hi to my not so recent converts.  Zack and Zane Law!  I am so happy.  I could not think of any place better to go then to this area.  MY JOY IS FULL!  (I am doing pump fists right now).  Well, I am going to be working with the members like crazy.  Work with my wonderful Bishop, Bishop Yost.  My second week on my mission he became Bishop.  Almost two years later I'm baaaaacckk.  Love you all! Hope you are having as great of a time as me.  Peace. 
Elder Brown

Happy 4th of July!

Monday, July 2, 2012

This week was a good one!  We were able to finally teach this potential investigator named Adie.  She is 20 years old and very hyperactive.  She had a lot of questions about things we can and can't do.  "Is it really that bad to drink alcohol"? she asked.   I said "yes, it is even more bad for you because you are under aged."  She laughed.  She said that  while she is young that she needs to enjoy her youth.  In my head I was like eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. da da la la. I like her!  She is very interesting and I liked how she told us what she was thinking and was very honest.  We answered over 20 questions that were all over the place, almost every gospel topic you can think of.  We had to keep bringing her back to the restoration of the Gospel which is the first lesson we usually teach.  I had a very cool experience with this investigator.  This happened as we were talking about Joseph Smith and letting her know of the background of the first vision.  I told her that I was going to tell her the experience that Joseph Smith had in his own words as he was offering a prayer to God.  I told her to picture what I was saying.  I promised her that she is going to feel something quite amazing and it is going to be the Holy Ghost.  I recite the first vision to her. Our eyes were locked.  She didn't blink.  The Spirit filled the room.  She said "How did you do that?"  I was like do what?  She said as I was picturing the experience that Joseph had I felt  something come over me and felt like I was going to cry.  How were able to make this happen?  Elder Herron said it is because he is a representative of Jesus Christ and when he promises something, it will happen.  At this moment I was flying high as a kite with the spirit.  I was able to help her recognize that is the spirit of God testifying to her that the first vision is true.  She looked at me.  She said I am really interested now on how you were able to do that.  I am going to definitely read the Book of Mormon and I want you to come back to teach me.  That night I pondered about the experience.  I had and realized the amazing responsibility and calling that I have.  The power I have to be an instrument in the Lord's hands to bring my brothers and sisters into the fold.  I am so grateful to be a missionary and to be serving the people here in Santa Ana right now. 
   This Fast Sunday was Amazing!  We were able to get our investigator Sonia to church!  I was so excited as the ward was able to fellowship her wonderfully.  She had a good time.  I am excited to teach her again this week.  She is progressing!  She is awesome.  We also were able to get Jacento to a baptism this weekend.  He also came to church with his dad also.  Jacinto is on track to be baptized in the next couple weeks. 
   We didn't teach too much this week but a lot of good things happened with the investigators we do have.  I am so grateful to be out here serving my Savior.  It is so wonderful seeing the atonement he performed for all of us to come into affect in the lives of those that I am serving.  If it wasn't for my Savior Jesus Christ,  I wouldn't be here right now and I definitely would not be the person I am today with out him. 
    Have a good week every one!
Elder J. Brown

Busy and Eventful Week!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Family and friends,

   This week was busy and very eventful!  I want to talk about a investigator named Sonia.  She is very spiritual and has a great desire to follow Jesus Christ.  She is Catholic, 21 years old and has a 5 year old daughter.  We have been able to meet her on a regular basis.  She knows that the Book of Mormon is true.  She knows that Joseph Smith is a prophet.  But she likes her church and feels the spirit there.  She doesn't see why she needs to come to our church or be baptized again.  We invited some members who are converts and who were less active to come meet with her.  We had an amazing lesson that helped her concern.  One of the members told us a experience he had.  He just prayed and asked if the Book of Mormon is true.  He received a witness that is was.  He was all excited.  His Uncle was a pastor and invited him to his church.  TJ, knowing the promise in Moroni 10:4-5, he prayed to know whether what his uncle was saying was true.  To his surprise he received a witness that is was true.  This made him so confused.  He didn't know which church was the right church.  He went to the Bishop and told him his problem.  The Bishop asked him what did he pray for.  TJ said whether what his uncle was saying is true.  The Bishop replied, "well what he was saying is true."  As he was teaching that Jesus Christ is the Savior.  Tj then gave an amazing testimony about the truthfulness of this gospel.  How other churches has bits and pieces of truth.  But the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day Saints has the fullness of the everlasting Gospel.  Adds to your joy.  The spirit was so strong.  We invited her to come to church.  She accepted.  Sadly a hour before sacrament she texted us and said something came up.  She said that she will for sure come next week.  The adversary knows she is ready.  If she comes to church she will find the truth and it will definitely set her free.  Shows right here the power of a member's testimony right here.
   We were able to find two new investigators this week which was awesome.  Really solid they are 18 and 22  so we are going to have to pass some more to the Singles ward haha.  But that is just how the cookie crumbles my friends.  I am just glad that I was part of their spiritual journey in finding them. 
  I have a funny story to tell.  So we are teaching a girl named Caitlyn at a pond.  We are sitting on the grass and it was very pretty.  Through out the lessons I felt ants crawling on me and stuff I would shew them off.  We finish our lesson and get in the car.  we are driving for like 5 minutes.  Charles, a member is sitting in the back seat.  Great kid.  Well out of no where he screams in a girly frantic voice.  DUDE, THERE IS A HUGE SPIDER ON YOU!!!!  Before I could respond he hit me with his huge scriptures on my shoulder.  I am like what the heck.  I look down I got spider guts all over me.  I was grossed out.  Charles said the spider was like a size of a golf ball.  I was like dang.  The spiders abdomen exploded and it was big.  We didn't have time to go home and change as we were really busy.  So that was not fun.  It was a pretty funny story I will remember.
    I want to talk about my last convert Bradley.  He is 14 and he was able to give a talk in sacrament meeting on temples.  He did amazing.  It seemed like he had been a member his whole entire life.  Later that day he was given the Aaronic priesthood which was awesome.  He is a good kid.  I am so proud of him.
   It is crazy the June is coming to a close everyone have a great summer.  

Elder J. Brown

Me & My Companion!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Lots of Miracles!

Family and Friends,

   Well, this week was good we were able to find two new investigators .  Both are for the singles ward.  The one that stands out the most is a cool story about Daniel.  We went to a referral which was a bad address and decided to knock on this random street.  We run into Daniel and set up an appointment for the next day. He mentioned something about his brother being a member.  I was on exchanges with Elder Moe when we went to go teach him.  We get to his house and he wasn't there.  We decided to knock on some doors around the house then we see him pull up a half hour later.  We go in and taught him the restoration and extended a baptismal invitation.   He accepted everything.  So we contact the Newport Coast Singles ward and told them about their new investigator.  They were amazed to find out that he is the brother of David Figauroa.  He was baptized by Elder Toland and Elder Hart up in Fullerton a couple weeks ago.  It was a cool miracle to see the Lord guide us to his home.  He now has a very solid fellowshipper in his brother.  There are a lot of miracles going on with finding in the California Anaheim Mission.
Elder Brown 

Fasting & Prayer Never Fails!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Family and Friends
   This week was slow but there was still a lot of good things that happened.  We were able to teach Sonia.  We have taught her the first three lessons and she believes everything.  She does not know if she believes that Joseph Smith is a Prophet and that our church is the same church that was organized by Jesus Christ.  Her family goes to the Catholic church and she likes it a lot.  She also loves the Book of Mormon.  We were able to teach her about keeping the Sabbath Day holy. She said that she will no longer go out to eat with her family  so that she could keep the Sabbath Day holy.  That was cool to see her exercise her faith there.  We invited her to church.  She was a little hesitant but we told her she needs to come at least once to see if she feels the spirit.  The same spirit she feels as she reads the Book of Mormon.  She committed but didn't come because she had an engagement she forgot about.  I was disappointed but I know she is sincere.  She will come to church next week.
   Another Investigator that I am really surprised about is Mike. He is a strong Catholic and he said that he would never read the Book of Mormon.  He is reading it!  We invited him to church, he declined.  But he did say that he is not against it.  So as we work with him little by little we will get him to church.
  I have been praying for this part member family.  We have been working with them since I got into this area.  The adversary is working so hard on them.  Joe, a recent convert of about year and a half, is trying to be worthy so that he will be able to baptize his son Jacinto who is 9.  He has had a lot trials in the last year that makes it hard to come to church and stay active.  He is willing but he is just not able to keep commitments and do the things necessary to get the job done.  It was cool.  I felt the need to truly fast and pray for that family.  As both Jacinto and Joe have not come to church.  Well,  I did so yesterday.  They both came to all three meetings and had a very spiritual experience.  The talks in Sacrament meeting were for Joe as they talked about covenants and how we can keep them.  It was just a cool experience.  My testimony in fasting and prayer is almost becoming a perfect knowledge.  It never fails!!! Joe is going to meet with the Bishop and get on track to baptize Jacinto in a couple weeks.  I know it will happen.
   I am really getting into the scriptures and studying about  "faith" and being agents.  It applies to everything.  I have a hope that the last 4 months of mission are going to be my best!!! Thanks family and friends for your prayers.  I feel them through out the day. Have a great week.
Elder Brown

Mr. Mountain Dew

Monday, June 4, 2012

I am very blessed!

Family and Friends, This week was tough! For some reason, once again I got sick with a bad head cold. Elder Herron got sick last week and now he got me sick. So battling through my cold was the biggest test for me this week. We spent the whole week finding and knocking. It was a grind. We were not finding anyone to teach and the people we were following up with were not home or too busy for us to share. Well, Saturday night we got out of a dinner appointment and started following up with potential investigators. We did this all the way up until 8:15pm and decided to go see Marta. We scheduled an appointment with her once and she stood us up. We had visited her a couple times but she was not home. Well, we finally get a hold of her and she brought us right in. I was like YESSSSS! Obviously at this point my nose was stuffy, sore throat, massive headache the works from the labors of the day. Well right as we said a prayer to open up a lesson, my symptoms went away. Either they were still there and I didn't notice them or it just went away I was able to give my undivided attention to Marta. Elder Herron and I were able to teach with such great unity. Asking inspired questions and listening to the spirit. That is my favorite part of being a missionary, how you are able to feel the spirit work through you. When you recognize it, your joy is full. We were able to answer the questions she had. Which questions were of the soul. She was so sincere. She is Catholic and her family is strong in that faith. She expressed how she doesn't know a lot of things about Jesus Christ. How her son who is 16 asks her questions about him. She doesn't know what to say. She is so grateful that we came to the door to share this message with her. When we recited the First Vision to her about Joseph Smith, her reaction was awesome. She said "Wow that is amazing". She told us all she wants to know is the truth and she happily accepted the invitation to read, ponder and pray about the Book of Mormon. Experiences like that makes missions worth while. I am willing to knock doors all week to have a experience like that. I am very grateful that the Lord blessed me with that opportunity. Just like in the scriptures "A women when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remebereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world." John 16:21. The work is going good I feel the spirit doing all I can to help those recieve the gospel. I know this work is true and that lives are being changed through the saints around the world. We were able to give a missionary invite to a family in the ward. We promised them that if they would pray for missionary oppurtunities that they would receive them. We challenged them in the next two weeks that they will find someone that the missionaries can teach. Two days prior to the day we were going to follow up they called us. They told us that they found someone for the San Jose missionaries and that their friend is willing to hear the discussions. Everything is going good in the South Coast Ward. Thanks friends and family for everything. Have a great summer because I know I am working in the sun of SO CAL!!!! Elder Brown

Pumped and Excited!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Family & Friends,
   Well this week was great as we have been focusing on finding new investigators that are truth seekers like Joseph Smith.   We are able to knock on doors and get a couple return appointments each day.  But the only frustrating thing that happens is they fall through 80% of the time.  It is hard.   You get all pumped up to teach some one new who is ready to hear the restored Gospel then you get there, they are a no show or just to busy.  Well, l we have been absolutely blessed.  I use to get discouraged when this would happen over and over.  Being out for this long it is just part of the game.  Well, I decided to pray to my Heavenly father that Elder Herron and I will find some investigators that are sincerely looking for the truth.  We had a lesson scheduled with a couple, Glen & Michelle.  We went in and they already had the Book of Mormon open and they have been reading.  I was like no way.  They said that they have been looking for the right church and they found this Book of Mormon in a retirement home that they worked at.  I was like YESSSSSS.  Prayer Answered!!!!  We taught them the Restoration and answered a lot of questions that they had.  They were very happy about the answers they received and the scriptures that backed it up.   They came to church this Sunday and they have a baptismal date for June 30th.  They are solid!!!!!  I am so happy.  When this happened we didn't know what was happening with transfers.  I wanted to stay so bad.  I thought I was going to get released as District Leader but I am staying exactly where I am atl with Elder Herron.  So staying in South Coast for another Month! Oh YA.  We also got another investigator that I am really happy about.  We invited a recent convert to invite someone to hear the missionary discussions.   He asked his girlfriend and bam we taught her and she accepted baptism also.  I love missionary work.   Love seeing the miracles that happen every day!  I know this is the sprint to the finish line and I am so pumped and excited.  I love you all have a good Memorial Day.  Happy Birthday Dad.  Want to give you a shout out and want you to know I Love you. ;) 
Elder Brown

My door was "Heart Attacked"

Monday, May 21, 2012

Thanks Family!

Keep your "spiritual eyes" OPEN!

 Family and Friends,
   Well, this week was very interesting. Usually I have been teaching a lot in this area but  the last couple weeks have been slow. The amount of lessons are going down and down each week.  I was disappointed in myself trying to think of reasons why we are not  teaching as much.  Thinking of reasons why we were missing blessings of teaching people.  We are studying a lot in chapter 9 in Preach my Gospel.  It is all about finding.  Elder Herron and I have been focusing on finding people the last couple weeks.  We schedule about 20 lessons a week and 75% of them fall through.  Ya, a lot of flaking going on.  You learn as a missionary that is a part of life.  So thinking that we were struggling,  I gathered and recorded how we did this week and something slipped my mind.  We found 3 new investigators.  That is what I have been praying for.  Even though the investigators we have had are not progressing, now the Lord has prepared other people for us to find. He answered my prayers at being a better finder.  This week was a huge success!  I learned never get discouraged, be diligent the Lord will bring to pass his righteous purposes
   One of the people we found is Sonia.  She actually has a brother that is a member of the ward but doesn't come.  So we had no clue he lived there.  Sonia was so excited to hear  the Restoration of Christ's church.  We were planning on only reading the first chapter of the Book of Mormon with her but she continued reading and we read ch. 2.  She said that when she gets into a book she won't put it down.  So she is really excited to read the Book of Mormon.
    There is a lot more stuff going on.   A lot of heart breakers and a lot of miracles.  I am so grateful for the experiences I have had on my mission thus far.  The Lord has blessed me tremendously and there are always miracles happening.   We just need to keep our eyes open.  Our spiritual eyes.
Scripture of the Week
"And the Lord said unto them: "Go forth among the people the Lamanites (people of Santa Ana), thy brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls."  Alma 17:11

Elder Brown

Happy Buffet Makes me Happy!!! Favorite Restaurant

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Focus: Finding Investigators

Family and Friends,
   Well,  this week we attended a lot of meetings.  It was good.  We are focusing on chapter 9 in Preach My Gospel which is all about finding new investigators to teach.  We are doing really good as a mission in finding as we were able to find over 200 investigators in the last two weeks.  That is huge for just 180 missionaries.  We are feeling the spirit of the Lord guiding our mission in finding those that are willing to receive us.
   The problem for Elder Herron and I is not finding investigators but trying to get our investigators to commit. Not only commit but have them follow through with the commitment they have made over and over.  After being a missionary and trying to help people keep commitments makes me want to be better at committing to things.  If I tell someone I am going to do it, I am going to do it.  I believe that is part of integrity.  So please all those that are committing follow through. haha. 
    We were able to get a new investigator named Marcos.  It was a really interesting lesson,  kind of frustrating at the same time.  We go into his home and we were teaching the unique message of the Restoration.  We get all the way up to Jesus Christ's ministry and his Atonement.  When I mentioned how Jesus Christ suffered in the Gethsemane and died on the cross, his mom walks in and I guess she has been studying with the Jehovah Witnesses.  Marcos tells us that Jesus Christ did not die on a cross but a straight plank.  I was going to brush by it.  Then my companion who knows his scriptures inside and out pulls out a scripture that says that Jesus Christ died on the cross.  Marcos, that scripture is from your prophet not mine.  Not knowing what he meant, we said that it is from the bible King James version.  It is the prophet Isaiah. We argued on this topic on and on.  The point I wanted to get across was that contention was in the air.  We found out that he is pretty converted to Jw's.   He wasn't baptized but has been convinced that they are the true church because they can prove it in their "bible"  which is really not the bible because it has been changed so much.  At this point we still have not taught the restoration.  The mom is trying to bash with us in Spanish showing us pamphlets of Jw's.  I was like I don't even understand what you are saying.  Keeps on just getting heated up.  Then I said listen, we have not finished our message of the restoration.  Can you let us finish.  We finished and he agreed to read the Book of Mormon.  But we got a long way to go.  It was just frustrating, a weird lesson. By the way I still don't know Spanish!
   This Mother's Day was awesome.  Church was amazing with talks about mothers and how awesome they are.  I am so grateful for my mom and putting up with me through the years.  I am grateful she taught me the gospel and led by example.  I was able to go to a family party with a Samoan family, the Tanielu's.  This family was huge. Their Grandma is 100 years old.  Isn't that crazy?  She had 17 kids.  Has 102 grandchildren.  There are five generations from her and she is still alive.  She has great great great grandchildren!  It is nuts.  We had a feast and I had some interesting food.  Lamb, beef, chop sui, corn beef, taro (root), meat balls, and a ton more stuff that I don't even know what to call it.  They handed us a bowl of oka. It is raw fish with tomatoes and green stuff.  I like sushi but not that kind of sushi.  Most fishy tasting thing i have ever ate.  I had to pound down other food so that I could get the taste out.  Bro.  Tanielu was able to pound it down for me.  It was a blast and just a cool life style.  Very laid back and relaxed!  I was able to talk to my family and it was good.  They are awesome!  it is weird the next time I will be talking to them I will be home in Utah.
Elder Brown

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

My new companion Elder Herron
Elder Josh Brown
Hanging with the Elders!
This week was busy but none of our invetigators are progressing. We still had a lot of cool stories and things happened that I want to talk about. First thing I want to talk about is a basketball square off. There is a hobo that has yellow hair all the way down to his shoes. We call him the "yellow man". He always hangs around this park and I always want to talk to him but we are always in a hurry to get to our other appointments. Well on Preperation day we went to a member's house to get my hair cut. He was about 15 minutes away so I decided to go talk to the yellow man. He is African American and found out his name is Charles. He is originally from Florida and likes the Lakers. Well, I challenged him in a game of one on one basketball. He was good, he could throw down some 3 pointers. But I was able to win at the end. Just beating one hobo in B-ball one game at a time. haha. Hopefully we will see him again and get to know him a little bit better. Right after that I had a kid my age who is preparing to go on his mission cut my hair and he totally butchard it. I had divots all around my head. So I had to go with the Single's ward Elders and they had to buzz my head to fix it. I probably won't need another haircut for the rest of my mission. I guess that is what you get for trying to get free haircuts. haha. We were able to look through our area book this last week and found a referral that was given to this area at the beginning of the year. Her name is Esther and come to find out she has already been taking the discussions for 8 months down in Laguna Niguel. She was progressing towards baptism, then she moved into our ward. She tried to find a LDS church in our area and she could not find it. So she was so excited to see us and set up an appointment with us right away. She has two little girls, ages of 7 and 11. We are excited to meet with them and talk to them about the gospel. We feel like they will enter into the waters of baptism in the near future and I am really excited for that. We were able to teach this older gentlemen named Mike. He is a hard core Catholic and we were able to meet with him for the second time. We went through the whole restoration with him during the first lesson and he was not willing to read the Book of Mormon because the Catholic church does not authorize it. He follows everything the catholic church does and says. He truly has strong faith. Well, this lesson we were able to focus on one principle. The Great Apostasy! We went from scripture to scripture and testifying of the Restoration. We were able to ask some inspired questions and the spirit was working on him hard core. You know the part in the Book of Mormon when Ammon asks King Lamoni what he wants him to do. It took him an hour to respond. Well it was kind of like that but 5 minutes long. Which to me felt like an hour. But the most amazing thing happen. He committed to read the Book of Mormon. The Spirit was working with him. You could tell he was fighting it at first but the Holy Ghost testified of this truth and he followed that prompting. It was great. Excited to see what happens! I have been able to have some great spiritual experiences. Church was just amazing. I love partaking the Sacrament and preparing for it. I am so glad that I have been able to more fully understand the Atonement and the importance of the Sacrament. I get so excited to get that spiritual reboot and to ponder on things that I can do better as a missionary. I can feel my Savior's love for me and for all of God's Children. I am so grateful to be able to feel that and receive that witness by the power of the Holy Ghost. Elder Brown Scripture of the Week: "Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing - unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethern to repentance." (Alma 26:22)

Tune in Next Week!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sorry, no blog for this week. This is Elder Brown's mom and I am on my way to Cancun.  I told Josh that he gets a week off.  Tune in next week! Hope to have lots of pictures also....

Busy, Busy, Busy

Monday, April 23, 2012

Family and Friends,
   Well this week was really busy like always now.  I am enjoying being so busy and doing the Lord's work.  We were able to find a lot of new investigators this week and also teach a lot of lessons.  We are striving to help the same people we talked about last week to enter into the waters of baptism.  Nothing has really changed.  Elder Herron, my new companion is very knowledgeable in the gospel and knows his scriptures inside and out.  He gives me a stronger desire to know my scriptures more and dive into them.  We teach in unity and it is great.  We are still trying to enhance our teaching ability but it is going well.  I got a bad head cold earlier this week.  That is probably the worse sickness I am going to get serving in the states. haha.  It didn't stop me from working.  The ward is doing great!  They are so good at missionary work.  They fellowship non-members wonderfully.  I am still learning how to activate into faith into power.  All you have to do is excercise a particle of faith and miracles will happen.  I am seeing it.  The Lord is blessing us so much much right now, with a willing heart and a peaceful mind.  California Anaheim mission is where its at!
Elder Brown

Busy, Busy, Busy

Family and Friends,
   Well this week was really busy like always now.  I am enjoying being so busy and doing the Lord's work.  We were able to find a lot of new investigators this week and also teach a lot of lessons.  We are striving to help the same people we talked about last week to enter into the waters of baptism.  Nothing has really changed.  Elder Herron, my new companion is very knowledgeable in the gospel and knows his scriptures inside and out.  He gives me a stronger desire to know my scriptures more and dive into them.  We teach in unity and it is great.  We are still trying to enhance our teaching ability but it is going well.  I got a bad head cold earlier this week.  That is probably the worse sickness I am going to get serving in the states. haha.  It didn't stop me from working.  The ward is doing great!  They are so good at missionary work.  They fellowship non-members wonderfully.  I am still learning how to activate into faith into power.  All you have to do is excercise a particle of faith and miracles will happen.  I am seeing it.  The Lord is blessing us so much much right now, with a willing heart and a peaceful mind.  California Anaheim mission is where its at!
Elder Brown

Bradley was finally baptized!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Spiritual Experiences!

Family & Friends,

This week has been crazy! I taught the most lessons this week ever on my mission! Elder Child and I taught 16 lessons this week and I absolutely loved it. Weeks go by so fast when all you do is teach. We were able to have a lot of miracles this week!

I want to talk about my boy Jeremy! He has had a tough life. He has been fighting the addiction to drugs his whole entire life. He is a good man at heart and just needs some direction in his life. That is why it is great that we as missionaries act as guides. We help set up an environment that the Holy Ghost can teach our investigators what truth is. Help them recognize what the Holy Ghost is. We were able to teach Jeremy 7 times this week along with other functions. He has exercised his faith so much. We are helping him to be off all substances that go against the Word of Wisdom by April 28th. When he endures he will be baptized on May 26th. He came to the temple tour with us then to Bradley's baptism right after. He also came to church and we were able to give him a blessing to reach his goal of baptism on the 26th of May. He has tremendous faith!

We were able to witness a baptism of Bradley. His story was quite amazing. When I first came into the area I was asking about our investigators. Elder Child went through them then told me about Bradley. Bradley has been investigating for over two years and has been dying to be baptized. His mother would not give permission for him to be baptized. Elder Child and I decided to fast & pray for Bradley and for his mom to soften her heart and allow him to get baptized. We came to Bradley and told him that we feel prompted to set up a baptismal date for April 14th. He accepted and a miracle happened! She said that Bradley is old enough to make his own decisions. I know that fasting & prayer really does work. I have seen it happen so many times! I have a very strong testimony in that. So Bradley got baptized and it was a very great spiritual experience.

We have a couple more people with baptismal dates and excited to continue to serve here in South Coast! Transfer calls came and Elder Child left to Euclid Fullerton. I am so sad! I love Elder Child. He is a great missionary and friend. I am so grateful that I was able to serve with him. My new companion is Elder Herron from Virginia Beach, Virginia. He is an interesting Elder but has a strong testimony in the Gospel. I am so grateful to be serving in the California Anaheim Mission! I am enjoying every minute of it. Take Care! Have a great week!

Elder Brown