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.

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)