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.

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